Sunday, 13 October 2013
Some Tame Gazelle by Barbara Pym
It was odd that Harriet should always have been so fond of curates. They were so immature and always made the same kind of conversation. Now the Archdeacon was altogether different . . . ' Together yet alone, the Misses Bede occupy the central crossroads of parish life. Harriet, plump, elegant and jolly, likes nothing better than to make a fuss of new curates, secure in the knowledge that elderly Italian Count Ricardo Bianco will propose to her yet again this year. Belinda, meanwhile has harboured sober feelings of devotion towards Archdeacon Hochleve for thirty years. Then into their quiet, comfortable lives comes a famous librarian, Nathaniel Mold, and a bishop from Africa, Theodore Grote - who each take to calling on the sisters for rather more unsettling reasons.
This was the first book that I've read by Barbara Pym and would I read another? I find that I'm asking myself this and I think that I probably would but only if I come across one.
This was a very genteel story about two spinster sisters, Harriet and Belinda. I found this very similar in some ways to stories by Jane Austen, in so much as both sisters had feelings for others that at times were unrequited and likewise others had feelings for them that were unrequited. Also the fact that the clergy featured quite heavily in the story, it was very reminiscent of much older stories. Comical at times the story was well written but if you're looking for a story that moves along at pace then this is not the book for you.
I gave this a 3* (6/10).