‘Over the years, as Barbara Pym replaced Nancy Mitford, Georgette Heyer, even Jane Austen, as my most loved author, I devoured all her books, but Jane and Prudence remains my favourite. Even an umpteenth reading this weekend was punctuated by gasps of joy, laughter and wonder that this lovely book should remain so fresh, funny and true to life’ Jilly Cooper
If Jane Cleveland and Prudence Bates seem an unlikely pair to be walking together at an Oxford reunion, neither of them is aware of it. They couldn’t be more different: Jane is a rather incompetent vicar’s wife, who always looks as if she is about to feed the chickens, while Prudence, a pristine hothouse flower, has the most unsuitable affairs. With the move to a rural parish, Jane is determined to find her friend the perfect man. She learns, though, that matchmaking has as many pitfalls as housewifery.
‘This comedy of manners is a salutary reminder of just how good Barbara Pym was . . . This book is a gem’ The Times
‘Barbara Pym is the rarest of treasures; she reminds us of the heartbreaking silliness of everyday life’ Anne Tyler
Not So Bad, Really
When I first read Barbara Pym’s Excellent Women in 1979 it certainly provoked a strong response, but hardly the admiration the cover blurb demanded for ‘one of the finest examples of high comedy...Read more