Google+ Followers

My Blog List

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A FEW GREEN LEAVES by BARBARA PYM



My book is a much brighter book cover than this one - a few very bright green leaves on a beige background. Much more appealing than this one.

This was just what the doctor ordered - set in rural Oxford in a village, with a rector, spinsters galore,  woodlands, gentle ramblings, jealous women, spiteful women this was bliss!!!!!

One of the main characters Emma is an anthropologist who has a vague idea of writing a book, and the whole book becomes a study actually of what is happening to its people, how they behave in situations and maybe how did people behave in similar situations a century ago. We have the rector Tom, vague, head in the clouds, interested in medieval history and specifically a deserted village, totally unaware of present needs, aspirations and ideas and two doctors - one in the present and one in a 1930s past who still prescribes a woman to buy a hat as a cure for all ills.  This at a time when no one is wearing hats! Funny if not slightly annoying - the characters I mean.


At the same time I would not say this is a happy book. There is a tinge of sadness, of frustration throughout of bossiness on the part of one and submissiveness on the part of the other, the feeling of not being able to do what one actually would like to do - restricted by whatever the norms of the era was - respectability, doing what everyone else does and this left me with a feeling of being sorry that they just could not find that little spark of independence to actually voice or do what they really wanted to do. I wanted to shout or rather in a ladylike manner nudge them into being happy first of all and hang what everyone else thinks. But and this is a big but the world does not work like that and even today there are lots of us governed by invisible bonds and rules, more binding than ever before. 

This was a small book and I am glad. I will be reading stuff like that for a few weeks at least as I need some light stuff. 

No comments: