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Lamb in Love

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  353 ratings  ·  76 reviews
In the tiny English village of Hursley, two lifelong acquaintances have never given each other a second glance. Until, on the very night of man's first moon landing, a precipitous passion alights on their middle-aged existence. Out for a stroll, Norris Lamb--postmaster, stamp collector, and church organist--spies spinster Vida Stephen dancing with glorious, ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 4th 2000 by Bantam (first published 1999)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  353 ratings  ·  76 reviews

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May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: xx2018-completed
Vida became Manford Perry’s Nanny when she was just 21 years old, and he a small baby. Manford’s mother died giving birth to him and his brain was damaged during childbirth. He is mentally challenged and mute, but he is also loving in his own way and over the past 20 years, Vida’s devotion and unflagging patience and love have guided him to become his best.

It is the night of the moon landing in 1969 when Norris Lamb, local post-master, falls in love with Vida. He has known her all her life yet
Julie  Durnell
Aug 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: england-uk
Beautiful! A slow and tender affair of the heart, both the surprising "romantic love at our age" for Norris and Vida, and the maternal love and insight Vida has for Manford. These characters will stay with me for a long time.
Jan 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, own
Quirky, charming, unusual. Love awakens for the very first time for two individuals who thought themselves immune and long past the age of falling head-over-heels in love. Neither Norris Lamb or Vida Stephen are prepared, or even equipped, for what happens when Norris accidentally stumbles across Vida dancing in the moonlight. Heartwarming and lovely! A keeper.
A charming story about love and being oneself. All the time I wanted to hug Vida, Norris and Manford, but I could only hug the book. The book is an unexpected gem to me.

People came to understand one another not by words but by what had happened between them. It couldn't be said, in so many words.

Two middle-aged people (a bachelor and a spinster) who knew each other the whole life, who lived in a small English village in 1969. Perhaps it is hard to believe but the love story between Vida and
Ron Charles
There are novels for summer reading on the beach. There are novels for winter evenings by the fire. And so why shouldn't there be novels to welcome the spring? Carrie Brown's "Lamb in Love" is as delightful as crocuses erupting through dirty snow.

This gentle, witty story about two middle-aged people falling in love for the first time reads like something Anita Brookner would write, if she would just cheer up. Brown demonstrates a kind of rare courage for a serious novelist: a willingness to let
May 23, 2010 rated it liked it
This story was so fresh and sweet. I really liked the quirky characters and the honest blandness of their lives.
The plot is a simple one involving people from a small English town, mid-century, who lead a routine unexciting existence.
Vida Stephens is a middle aged, average woman employed as a nanny for a wealthy mans son who is considered the village idiot. The boys mother died in childbirth and it soon became apparent that the child was "different".
The Father hired Vida, a young woman in the
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm going with four stars because this book is one I'll remember down the road. The quality of the writing and the lyrical nature of it were superb. But I'd warn anyone looking for a lot of PLOT that they've come to the wrong place.

I also think it important to remember this book is set in 1969 in a small village in England, so coming to some of its themes and characters with a 2019 mentality will only provide frustration. Go with it. Try not to think of Vida (the heroine) as someone who doesn't
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A quiet but beautifully written story. Norris Lamb, the middle-aged postmaster in a small English village, suddenly realizes that he’s in love with Vida, who’s spent her adult life as ‘nanny’ to Manfred, a mentally disabled boy, now a young man. Norris’ ways of letting Vida know about his love are so circuitous and inept that they drive the reader, as well as Vida, to think that he’s more like a stalker! But his developing understanding and appreciation for Manfred reveals that he truly has a ...more
Karen Wentlandt
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much. Such beautiful storytelling. December was a great month to read something with a story arc that didn't rush itself, but rather took its own sweet time getting to the climax and resolution. We need more books like this.
Sara Thompson
Apr 19, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a sweet story about two people who did not quite realize that they were lonely, until they did. The characters were charmingly quirky, and the writing style was a lovely descriptive prose.
Aug 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Phylisha Stone
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
A sweet romance that changes three lives.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
At first I thought the stalking of the main character was creepy. But it turns out Norris Lamb is an endearing fellow and it's a sweet story.
Deborah Gaspar
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book about love and how it isn't a straight line.
Mary Crotty
Apr 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Feb 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Oh, what a delightful book! The author follows the the slow unfolding of love in a quiet village of ordinary good people. Norris Lamb is a fifty-five year old postmaster living in a small village in England. Since childhood, he has known Vida, a forty-something gentle woman who has devoted her life to caring for a mentally handicapped young man. Of course, we know from the moment Norris and Vida are introduced to us that they will fall in love.

Told in a companionable gentle voice, the story
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this tender tale of love that comes late in life! Norris Lamb sees Vida Stephen dancing by a moonlit fountain late one night. Although they both have lived their entire lives in the same small village, he suddenly sees her differently and falls head over heals in love with her. What follows is a tender, sometimes comic, story of how he goes about trying to win her heart. Norris is in his fifties, Vida is 42. Neither one has had any experience with falling in love before. Norris is the ...more
Oct 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: year-round, fiction
This is a gentle, warming cuppa tea in book form. The characters are very well detailed, with their English eccentricities surrounded by the feel of village life. My pulse rate slowed when reading this novel, so perhaps it might be a good antidote to high-stress living. I really enjoyed this work, having gotten used to so much high-speed blah, blah, blah. This is a good volume to hold until the rains start pouring down. Then, take your tea in printed format.

Nice hardcover, too, with an excellent
May 09, 2011 rated it liked it
I found this book as a suggested read-a-like for Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, and I was somewhat satisfied with this recommendation. In a small English village in the 1960s, Norris Lamb falls in love with Vida Stephen. He is the town postmaster, she the lifelong caretaker of a mentally challenged young man named Manford. The two have been acquainted all their lives, but suddenly Norris realizes that for him, Vida is perfection… and he must figure out how best to proceed. The author uses ...more
Feb 22, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-romance
(English Romance) I read an article a few years back where a couple librarians recommended this book. Sadly, it's just not for me. Norris, a fifty-something postmaster of a quaint English village is madly in love with Vida, a single forty-something caretaker of a mute young man named Manford. Norris pines for Vida and begins sending her secret-admirer letters. Vida suspects everyone but Norris as her secret admirer. It's cute, it's endearing, but it's TOO cutesy for me. This one is for the ...more
Dec 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
An unconventional love it unfolds, the author slowly brings the quirky postmaster, Norris Lamb, to realize a romantic side he has never known before. And Vita, the object of his affection, is equally unconscious of her own desires, hidden by years of caring for the mentally handicapped son of a wealthy widower. Brown does a wonderful job of bringing the two together with her eloquent prose and understanding that the capacity for love remains, no matter ones' age or circumstances. A ...more
Hannah Jane
Jul 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
This was wack. Totally awkward and painfully slow. And how Mr. Lamb uses Manford to his own advantage just peeps me off. But I give this two stars because Carrie Brown is still a brilliant writer. There were special moments in here that kept me hanging on. I stopped caring about the story and started looking for the special bits of insight. But I wouldn't read this again if my life depended on it. It was utterly bizarre and creepy and the plot felt like it was trapped like a piece of fruit in a ...more
Jan 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nice-fiction
Norris is a 55 year old postmaster. Vida is a 42 year old nanny for an adult child with special needs. They have lived in the same village all their lives yet after a chance encounter, Norris falls in love for the first time in his life. Being inexperienced he has no idea how to tell Vida his true feelings. I was worried that he would NEVER be able to get it out but the happy ending made me appreciate this gentle book with lovely characters!
I don't know why I loved this book so much, but I did. I found its whimsicality and oddness completely lovable.
It portrayed well the frustrations and joys of loving someone from afar and not knowing how to go about letting them know how you feel. (Something I know nothing about, of course. *ahem*)

I never would have guessed that this book was written in the 90's. It possesses the gentle British charm of older writers such as Barbara Pym or D. E. Stevenson.
Feb 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
This too (like Speak) was a Grand Conversations selection. Pleasant reading set in a small English village, featuring the thirty-something nanny of a young retarded man who becomes beloved by a fifty-ish postmaster she’s known all her life when he catches sight of her dancing in the moonlight the night of the Apollo moon landing. He’s too shy and unsure of himself to approach her directly, so begins a letter-writing and secret admirer campaign to win her affections.
Therin Stapp
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-discussion
I did not think I would enjoy this book, when I started, but it ended up being quite enjoyable. I loved the way Brown used the point of view. Mr. Lamb does some very creepy things that, I am convinced, many men would not realize they're creepy. And his paramour is worried she's being stalked! It's a good book.
Dec 30, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, unfinished
I don't know what reminded me of this book recently. I liked it but never finished it. It was beautiful, in its way, but I guess I abandoned it for the same reason I have abandoned other books: I saw where it was going. Somehow there wasn't enough to move me forward. Still, I would not mind picking it up again.
Lynn Shurden
Dec 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I have to admit that I wasn't enthralled with this book from the first page, but it absolutely "had me" until the last sentence. I think it's one of the best love stories I've read in a long time. Descriptions of places, gardens, and people are masterful. And unless it had not been recommended by someone I respect, I probably never would have chosen to read it.
Dec 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
an exquisite middle-aged love story, elegantly written. it melts me to honey, how this damn good man loves, wholeheartedly, perfectly imperfectly, and from afar. and the object of his love is a darn good woman, heartachingly unaware of her own beauty and aliveness. how they come to love is a charming duet of quiet moments intersecting, each note sweet and sonorous.
Sep 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
While the storyline of this book moved along extremely slowly, the character development and beautifully written, introspective passages more than made up for it. I fell in love with the 3 main characters -- each one a gentle soul with innate goodness and a great capacity for love. A lovely book.
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Carrie Brown is the author of five novels – her most recent novel is The Rope Walk (Pantheon, 2007) – and a collection of short stories, The House on Belle Isle. Her other novels include Rose’s Garden, Lamb in Love, The Hatbox Baby and Confinement.

She has won many awards for her work, including a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, the Barnes and Noble Discover Award, the Janet Heidinger
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“But now it is Norris's privilege and pleasure to see her as no one else does, for he has been struck by love for Vida. And in his eyes, under the transforming inspection of his gaze―well, who can tell? Vida may become something more than she appears at the very moment, waiting quietly on her bench, the world breathing delicately around her.” 1 likes
“How horribly easy it is, he thinks now, breathing hard, watching the light retreat down the lane, to go from good to bad, from the dream to the memory, from what we want to all we've ever had.” 1 likes
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