Thursday, August 31, 2017

Dear Great Book Guru,  In last Sunday’s New York Times there was an article about a writer that I think you have written about in the past: Barbara Pym.  The Times reporter wrote of her continuing appeal over the years and the joy her writings bring to readers.  Do you have a favorite Pym novel you would recommend?   A Potential Pymian

Dear Potential Pymian,   Yes, Pym’s many fans here in Sea Cliff were thrilled with Matthew Schneer’s beautiful tribute to her in the New York Times.  This weekend many of us will be gathering in Oxford, England for the annual Pym Society convocation where each year one of her books is discussed and celebrated.   This year’s  choice is NO FOND RETURN OF LOVE.   The book opens with Dulcie Mainwaring attending a literary conference to help recover from a broken engagement. When the main speaker at the conference faints during his presentation, it is Dulcie who is there to make everything right, or so she imagines.   Dulcie is a prototypical Pym character- a woman ever curious about those around her, self- deprecating but aware of the ironies and yes humiliations that surround our daily lives.  Will Dulcie find happiness in the old Victorian home left to her by parents? Perhaps, but we do know she will live a rich, imaginative life bolstered by her interest and appreciation of all things great and small.   A wonderful choice for a weekend read and highly recommended!

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