Saturday, 5 September 2015

52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge, What Week Is This? Barbara Pym Week

I haven't done a book review the last few weeks, been too busy with family on a Saturday night or been caught up trying to get various sewing things done. I have however been quietly reading in the background.

This week's book is "An Academic Question" by Barbara Pym. It would probably be more correct of me to say "this week's Barbara Pym novel is 'An Academic Question'".

 I came to Barbara Pym quite late in life, the last 6 months or so, and I must admit I have fallen totally in love with her books. My friend Anne reads and rereads a lot of classics and modern classics and had mentioned Barbara Pym several time to me. Her sister reads them as well. I did the classic thing of nodding and agreeing that yes, I must read them some time. Some time. When I have read the mountain of Philippa Gregory books I have, and the new CJ Sansom, and the couple of Hilary Mantels I have. I seem to have a thing about Tudor novels, maybe the 1950s were too recent for me.

Then someone brought a box set of Barbara Pym into my work. Now, we all love a freebie and I hate to see books go to waste; they came home with me. And sat there for a quite a while. Now not only do I devour them, but I pass them onto my friend Liz. Who thankfully loves them too. We now have the N Ireland branch of the Barbara Pym appreciation society (only joking).

An Academic Question revolves around the bored wife of a small time academic. Caro feels stifled as a housewife, she refers to herself as a graduate housewife. She would love a job, but its not the done thing. She could work in the university library shuffling dusty record cards but it doesn't float her boat. She goes to the local nursing home for retired lecturers to read to retired anthropologist and turns a blind eye whilst her husband steals a portfolio. She then has to go work in the library so she can return what her husband has "borrowed". His problem becomes her problem. In between there are the usual sharp comments on the small town life of the academic and their scandals.

Now I have finished this box set, I think I will have to order the rest of the back catalogue. See, I am even using Barbara Pym speak.

I mentioned Philippa Gregory and my love of the Tudors earlier. My shared love of the Tudors with my friend Liz, and also my daughter. Liz this week has reviewed Philippa Gregory's new novel about Kathryn Parr, the last of Henry's long suffering wives. Go check out her review, and see what you think.

And for myself, book group starts again this week. This month in book group I am reading Ann Tyler "The Ladder Of Years", got to chapter 5 and so far very good.

Helen x
linking up with 52booksin52weekschallenge

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a good read! I have to pick a book for my book club, any other suggestions?


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