Hooray for Books and Reading discussion

7 views
Excellent Women > After the end...

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 522 comments 8. At the end of the novel, Pym hints at changes in Mildred’s life while being ambiguous about what exactly those changes might be. One reviewer said: “Excellent Women is a romantic comedy that makes the decidedly unromantic suggestion that its narrator might be happiest alone.” What do you predict for her? What do you think would make her happiest or most fulfilled? What would be the traditional happy ending? In a couple of Pym’s later books, characters refer to Mildred, so we do know what happens to her. If you’d like to know, read the Wikipedia page for “Excellent Women.”


message 2: by Carol (last edited Jan 27, 2017 01:14PM) (new)

Carol  Jones-Campbell (cajonesdoa) | 690 comments Mod
I guess I'm still thinking as to what a definition of an Excellent Woman would be. While reading, I was pondering the same thing. I don't have a strong definition. I may come back if I feel inspired. In scripture we read of "elect" women, and I understand that clearly, this excellent woman is where I'm having some difficulties.


message 3: by Ayse_ (new)

Ayse_ (ashlie_k) I think the rewiever is correct. Mildred is such a boring character, I don't know how she lives with herself, let alone be fulfilled.


message 4: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea | 562 comments I admit, I was hoping she'd get her happily ever after and get married. I was very disappointed with the ending since I was thinking she'd get married the whole time. When I read the end, it seemed that she finally realized she could live a full rich life by being single, but that didn't make me feel any happier. I'm a Disney Princess at heart and I didn't get my ride off in the sunset at the end of this book. I'll stick to books that have the cliche predictable ending of this sort. :)


message 5: by Darlene (new)

Darlene Well, I am stopped at "romantic comedy." I really never considered this book in any way a comedy. Perhaps that is the British humor that I missed or perhaps it is because I feel like I "do" an awful lot of Mildred in my life and it is oftentimes not funny! lol!! I find it very interesting that we all have such different views on the ending! Maybe this lends credence to the classic idea??? Anyway, Ayse, I really liked Mildred. I think she is doing a valuable "job" in her world and keeps her life--and the life of others--together. She is a person who I suspect is greatly underappreciated and undervalued....until she is no longer around. Then people can see her value and how much she enriched their lives, not in anything major, but in the daily grind of life. I think she is happy and fulfilled, but like many of us, thinks that the grass is greener on the other side. I think that by the end of the story, she has a deeper understanding of herself and has matured and realized that she is indeed fulfilling her potential in life and that what she does really matters. Unlike Chelsea, I believe that she will indeed get married and that she will live the (somewhat) happily ever after life. Perhaps I have an even bigger affinity for puppy dogs, rainbows, and princesses than you, Chelsea! lol! :) I do love the fact that Pym allows the reader to choose the ending she wants...I will opt to believe in a happily ever after as long as there is nothing to definitely contradict me. And lest there be confusion re my stance on Mildred, I dare say that I believe she learned to be content in being single as the book progressed. She matured and grew to like herself, which in part is why if she chooses to marry, she has indeed made the choice instead of just "getting married" so as not to be a "spinster." Thanks for the possible info re wiki, but I will choose to remain in my rainbow and unicorn fog where Mildred gets to live the way I choose. :)


message 6: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 522 comments Wow, Darlene! That's one of the best analysis I've ever read! I absolutely agree with you. I loved Mildred. This might seem off-topic, but did anyone ever read "Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood"? Those women drove me crazy. So dramatic and loud and proud of themselves. I adore characters like Mildred - quietly trying to do what's right, but often afraid she looks foolish or is making mistakes with her life. To me, this is so much more realistic and satisfying than reading about many typical heroines. And I liked the ending too - but that's just me. :) This really is a quirky, off-beat book.


message 7: by Darlene (new)

Darlene Cindy wrote: "Wow, Darlene! That's one of the best analysis I've ever read! I absolutely agree with you. I loved Mildred. This might seem off-topic, but did anyone ever read "Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterho..."

Thank you!! I have not read that book, but I know it sure was popular awhile ago. And I love quirky, off-beat books! I may have to "creep" on your shelf. lol!


message 8: by M.E. (new)

M.E. Hembroff (mhembroff) | 93 comments This was a book about an ordinary woman. The term excellent woman is hard to define but throughout the book the author refers excellent women as ones who look after other people while remaining single. It wasn't the typical story where boy meets girl and then marries at the end. The ending was different but Mildred seemed content with her position in life. After all a woman doesn't necessarily have to have a man in your life to be fulfilled. She did have male friends but not in the romantic sense. I am single and enjoy my life.


message 9: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 522 comments M.E. wrote: "This was a book about an ordinary woman. The term excellent woman is hard to define but throughout the book the author refers excellent women as ones who look after other people while remaining sin..."
Yes - I think you've hit the nail on the head. And I love a book where I can't guess the ending from chapter 3 on. :)


back to top