Em's Reviews > Excellent Women

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
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's review
Jan 16, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012, british, classics

A comedy, the kind to make you smile in recognition, roll your eyes in exasperation and inwardly groan! Barbara Pym has a very sharp eye and uses it to great effect in describing characters and depicting their behaviour.

Mildred Lethbridge is a single woman of 30 who lives alone in post war London at a time when many buildings are in ruins and food is being rationed however, the main focus of this book is the everyday social interaction of Mildred with various aquaintances and friends - her new neighbours, her old school chum and the church committee.

Mildred is bright and capable but as an unmarried woman she often finds herself involved with the concerns and problems of other people who clearly seem to assume she has nothing else to do! Absolutely infuriating to my modern sensibilities but so much worse going back a few decades.

I hoped throughout that Mildred would go her own path somehow but the ending seemed to hint at a less optimistic outcome, making a serious point despite the humour that is prevalent throughout.

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Reading Progress

January 16, 2012 – Started Reading
January 16, 2012 – Shelved
January 16, 2012 – Shelved as: 2012
January 16, 2012 – Shelved as: british
January 16, 2012 – Shelved as: classics
January 17, 2012 –
page 60
January 18, 2012 –
page 110
47.62% "Never before read Barbara Pym - very good. Better late than never I guess."
January 20, 2012 –
page 200
January 21, 2012 – Finished Reading

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