Saturday, December 25, 2010
Review - A Glass of Blessings by Barbara Pym
This was one of the books I chose to read over the few days of holidays. I will get through a fair amount of reading as unlike most bloggers this is a very quiet Christmas for us.
The author came recommended on a blog with another book (which I have also got) - I wanted lighter reads but this does not actually fall into that category though it looks as if it was!
The story is one that could be applicable to any period - a comfortably placed woman, comfortable both with money and complacent with her husband, no children, household duties all attended to by others - she is bored with nothing to do and her mind just wanders from one subject to another. Could she do good with the clergy, with Mary who needs taking in hand particularly with her clothes, or could she befriend her friend's brother Piers who looks as if he needs some guidance, anyone needing help should she exert herself in one way or the other?
The book was complex - an almost affair, things happening around our chief party Wilmet but actually nothing happening to her, two surprising marriages, and also she finds out that she should not really be that complacent over her husband who may be more aware of other women and happenings than she ever imagines. Wilmet seems naive not to realise that Piers is gay until she meets the 'colleague' he has been talking about and then realizes the element of homosexuality which is very understated in this book.
Wilmet is narrow in her outlook, conservative and rather discriminatory but this could be just indicative of the times she lives in. What Wilmet tries to do is improve herself - by trying to learn from things happening around her.
Another part of this book which was enjoyable was the major role played by clergy - Anglican clergy in the story. They formed the major part of the background of the story and this was interesting for me. My knowledge of clergy Anglican or otherwise is a bit limited and I liked this part of it as well.
The book was in a large print which I liked and at 305 pages an easily read one.