Thursday, November 26, 2009

Great Book Guru II

Dear Great Book Guru, Sea Cliff is so beautiful this time of year with all those colorful leaves falling and swirling about. Do you have any books that bring this time of year to mind? Fall Fancier

Dear Fancier, Just today I was walking through the back streets of the Village, when I came upon a friend vigorously raking leaves. Quizzing him, I said," Charles, what book does this scene remind you of?" Quickly, he answered, " A FEW GREEN LEAVES by Barbara Pym." This book , a favorite of mine, is most appropriately read in late autumn . Pym writes of a small, unrestored medieval village just aside of present day London. A young author of romance novels retreats to the small village to find new sources for her next book. Her neighbors include eccentrics, , rectors, a restaurant reviewer, a gerontologist, a television celebrity, and a local historian among others. In creating these perfect miniatures, Pym offers us a glimpse of a village that is touched by time ever so lightly but ever so empathically. In its architecture and topography it is is of another age but the lives of its citizens are very much impacted by contemporary issues. Written with Pym's usual attention to small, humorous, character-defining details , this novel is a joy to read. Of all her works , this most reminds me of Sea Cliff.


  1. Dear Great,
    Thanks to you, there is now a Barbara Pym Society in Belfast, Maine. We had tea and scones while discussing 'Excellent Women,' and will enjoy sherry and Stilton with 'Less than Angels' next month.
    How appropriate that I can express my gratitude to you on Thanksgiving Day, dear Guru.

    With warm appreciation for your ongoing greatness,


  2. Dear Gina- I just realized I can answer you. I am touched, thrilled, overjoyed to think that Barbara Pym is being read in book groups all over the world now but especially in Maine. Thanks for your very kind words.