how concisely DeborahGD reviews Pym's " A Glass of Blessings.' I found she echoes my thoughts about it exactly. Wilmet is a character at a loss, wondering what to do with herself, meanwhile wryly assessing the lives and people she is surrounded with on their soulful value to her own search. Particularly like her subtle, funny observations. While sitting at Evening Song for Christmas Wilmet speculates "...on the nature of Miss Prideaux's fur coat. It seemed to be of such a very strange kind of fur, not cat or rabbit or any of the more expensive varieties, but something one couldn't put a name to. Wolf, perhaps, or some strange bushy animal shot long ago in those Imperial Balkan forests". We are treated to this curious speculation, mild at first but far ranging toward the end, the Balkans no less, while seated in a village parish church among the most respectable of company. My, my, indeed. Such Fun!
I love Barbara Pym's low key humour, and A Glass of Blessings is my favourite of her novels. Wilmet, the main character, is a married, well-kept woman with time on her hands, and a whimsical, observant and indecisive mind. She observes her conventional husband and her unconventional, constructively employed mother-in-law with an ironic eye, and in the case of the mother-in-law, some awe. She is taken up with the doings of folk in her parish and several friends and acquaintances, most of whom she misses the point of, and so is always sorting out mysteries, getting involved in unexpected situations and being surprised by people and things. Everyone, but Wilmet is committed to some one or something. Wilmet is observing and enjoying her observations
I have enjoyed the low key of Pym's books. This one isn't as interesting because the character Wilmet has no purpose in life. Maybe it's meant as an example of how empty an Englishwoman's life is with servants and no children.
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