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Excellent Women
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
Mildred Lathbury is one of those 'excellent women' who is often taken for granted. She is a godsend, 'capable of dealing with most of the stock situations of life - birth, marriage, death, the successful jumble sales, the garden fete spoilt by bad weather'. As such, she often gets herself embroiled in other people's lives - especially those of her glamorous new neighbours, the Napiers, whose marriage seems to be on the rocks. One cannot take sides in these matters, though it is tricky, especially as Mildred, teetering on the edge of spinsterhood, has a soft spot for dashing young Rockingham Napier. This is Barbara Pym's world at its funniest and most touching.
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erzascarletbookgasm
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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I am embarrassingly late to finish the #PemberLittens buddy read but what a splendid read! I love the gentle wit and Mildred‘s voice. The book makes me smile, and sometimes titter. Also very thirsty, with all the constant tea brewing. A great introduction to Barbara Pym for me.

P/S I love this mug featuring artwork from the Virago Modern Classics edition of the book 😍

batsy This was also my first (and only, so far) Pym! 💚 4d
Librarybelle That mug is adorable!! 4d
Sparklemn Love the mug! 3d
CarolynM I had my eye on this mug, but I bought more of her books instead🤣 Excellent Women is a gateway drug, you‘ll be craving more Pym soon 😆 @batsy 3d
Crinoline_Laphroaig So much tea! 2d
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Sparklemn
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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It was fascinating to see how Mildred, a spinster in the 1950s, spent her days and how others took advantage of her kindness and inability to set boundaries. I fall into that trap occasionally but generally am too stubborn and lazy to be considered an Excellent Woman. And that's OK with me. 😜 😉 Enjoyed reading this with the #pemberlittens!

Karons1 🤣🤣brilliant review ! 😂 1w
Crinoline_Laphroaig I strive not to be an Excellent Woman! 4d
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DivineDiana
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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Mildred Lathbury, an unmarried woman in 1950‘s England is an Excellent Woman. Kind,gracious,active in her Church,supportive of her friends, she is often taken for granted. When a young married couple move into her building, her world opens up to new and exciting friends. There is always tea. Mildred is often making tea for someone in need of a chat. Manners are expected. I felt soothed by the pace and language.Charmed by Mildred. #pemberlittens

Nutmegnc Great image. Totally evocative! 1w
Cathythoughts Yes, great image 👌🏻 1w
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batsy Lovely review & perfect choice of picture! 1w
Librarybelle I felt charmed by Mildred too! 1w
DivineDiana @Nutmegnc @Cathythoughts Thank you! ❤️❤️ (edited) 1w
DivineDiana @batsy So kind! ❤️ 1w
DivineDiana @Librarybelle Glad we agree! ❤️ 1w
erzascarletbookgasm Lovely review. And excellent pic! 5d
DivineDiana @erzascarletbookgasm Thank you so much! Wish I had taken the photo! 🙂 4d
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peanutnine
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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This was my first Pym and I really enjoyed the writing. The story follows Mildred a single 'excellent' woman as she must deal with new neighbors, gossiping parishioners, and men who take advantage of her helpfulness. I was surprised by how engaging and funny it was considering its simply a day to day account of her life but I found myself invested in her life. It gave a good glimpse of what it was to be a 'spinster' woman in the 50s
#pemberlittens

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DivineDiana
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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Current read. A bit late for the group, but looking forward to it! I see the author is much loved on Litsy. #blameitonlitsy #pemberlittens

AllDebooks Enjoy, it is so good x 2w
DivineDiana @AllDebooks Thank you! I think this is just what I need now! 📚 2w
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DebinHawaii
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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I didn‘t get a chance to post this after finishing the #chapteraday readalong with the #PemberLittens This was my first Barbara Pym book although I have 2 more loaded on my Kindle. I enjoyed reading about Mildred, an “excellent woman” (aka spinster) living a quiet life in London serving her church & community & anyone else who asks for her help (or who she feels she needs to sort out.) Pym‘s Excellent Women don‘t seem to have or set a lot of ⬇️

DebinHawaii … boundaries for themselves for being called to help others (sort out marriages, hem drapes, organize church sales, send furniture, make tea etc.) in the 1950s setting. I guess being never married myself, Pym would call me excellent too😭🤣 but I think I‘m much better at my boundaries! It is a quiet little book but Pym is witty & sly with her humor & I will definitely read more from her. Thanks to @Crinoline_Laphroaig for hosting the #readalong 🤗 2w
TheBookHippie I‘ll definitely read more -she was fun! 2w
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rwmg
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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Honourable mention to “Battles at Thrush Green“ by Miss Reed

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suvata
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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#Litsy Fun and Games
On my way through the #PromptMaze
@TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Looking great!!! 2w
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TheBookHippie
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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Thank you to @Crinoline_Laphroaig for excellent leading us through #EXCELLENTWOMENANDBOILEDPOTATOES my daily backyard reading was so much fun the perfect July read! #pemberlittens

Cinfhen Stunning photos 😍 2w
TheBookHippie @Cinfhen I live it up June to September.....because after that the dreaded SNOW ..... 2w
julieclair Beautiful backyard! And I agree that @Crinoline_Laphroaig did a great job hosting. #ExcellentWomenAndBoiledPotatoes 4-ever! 🥔👍 2w
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Crinoline_Laphroaig And it's beautiful! 2w
kspenmoll Gorgeous flowers! 2w
AllDebooks Beautiful blooms x 2w
58 likes7 comments
review
eeclayton
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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I read this book a-chapter-a-day style with the #PemberLittens, which turned out to be great for me. Had I read it the traditional way, it might have bored me, because not a whole lot happen in this novel. People come and go and there is some drama of the oridinary life, but at the end, nothing and nobody has really changed. Still, I appreciated... ⬇️

eeclayton ... the portrayals of ordinary people with their ordinary problems, and the characters' attitudes and comments about Mildred being single are still very relevant (and maddening) today.
Thanks for hosting @Crinoline_Laphroaig and thanks for all the comments and insights #pemberlittens 😊
3w
Crinoline_Laphroaig You're Welcome! 3w
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Vansa
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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This entire paragraph is both hilarious and wince-inducing in its description of men and the domestic burden of women.I love her tongue in cheek description of the advantages she sees of marrying Bone-talking to his mother about worms and Jesuits, and figuring out an irrelevant mystery.Not surprised Pym never married!!
Hugely enjoyed this buddy read,so grateful to @Crinoline_Laphroaig for suggesting this.Have enjoyed this #Pemberlittens

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rwmg
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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Mildred Lathbury's new neighbours in the flat downstairs are an anthropologist married to an Admiral's Flag Lieutenant. Unfortunately, the marriage seems to be somewhat shaky, while the vicar is enamoured of a widow who has also just moved into the parish.

Classic Pym. I think I am going to have to get a new copy - mine is now falling apart I have read it so many times over the last 30 years or so.

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Crinoline_Laphroaig
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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Thoughts on the Ending⁉️

I was bit underwhelmed. Felt like I needed another Chapter and Epilogue to wind up the story. Especially since I read a Spoiler here for Mildred from her next book Jane & Prudence.
http://agirlwalksintoabookstore.blogspot.com/2013/03/six-degrees-of-barbara-pyms...

Or is that point. 'Mildred is an Excellent Women" and will continue to be one?

#ExcellentWomenandBoiledPotatoes
#Pemberlittens #TheEnd

Crinoline_Laphroaig That being said I definitely want to read more Pym. This is arriving today 3w
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DivineDiana I just received my copy from the Library, but I will look back at the posts and comment. ❤️ 3w
Crinoline_Laphroaig @DivineDiana Yay! I'm excited to hear your thoughts. 3w
BarkingMadRun I thought it was kind of vague and abrupt lol I like imagining the ending but also I would have like to read it 🤣 it kind of reminded me of the end of My Fair Lady lol 3w
julieclair At first the abrupt (perfect word @BarkingMadRun ) ending bothered me, but the more I thought about it, I kind of liked the open-ended-ness of it. In my mind, Mildred ends up with Everard Bone, and improves his social awkwardness. I'm kind of tired of Julian Mallory, lol. I didn't realize there were more Mildred books. But I didn't read the link, thanks for the heads up about the spoiler, @Crinoline_Laphroaig . And I agree, need to read more Pym! 3w
Ruthiella @julieclair There aren‘t any more books featuring Mildred. She just gets a one line mention in Less Than Angels which lets the reader know if she married or not. 3w
Ruthiella I like the open ended-ness. I think part of the point of the book is that marriage isn‘t a HEA. It‘s just a different kind of burden for an Excellent Woman. 3w
TheBookHippie @Ruthiella I agree with the open ended-ness like. I am definitely reading more Pym! Where to start?!?! I loved your daily synopsis and our discussion so much fun I looked forward to it every day! 3w
Ruthiella @TheBookHippie I would read Less Than Angels next and then No Fond Return of Love only because there are cameos providing glimpses of characters from previous books. Quartet in Autumn is good, but I don‘t think there is any connection to other books. 3w
TheBookHippie @Ruthiella that sounds like a plan! 3w
sarahbellum @Ruthiella thanks for the suggestions for what to read next! I also want to keep reading Pym, but didn‘t know where to start 🙂 3w
peanutnine I was surprised with the ending at first because nothing seemed to have changed really. But overall I really enjoyed this look into Mildred's life. And @Ruthiella I love that idea of marriage as a different kind of burden. So true! 3w
AnneCecilie I think that is the point, that nothing really changes for Mildred. 3w
Crinoline_Laphroaig Sorry for all the tags. Litsy was being weird this morning 3w
Crinoline_Laphroaig @julieclair @BarkingMadRun at first I was What⁉️ but then after I thought about it I was like yeah I get it. Not exactly more Mildred books she just is mentioned I think. 3w
julieclair @Ruthiella Thanks for letting me know there are not any more Mildred books. I like the advice you gave to @TheBookHippie and will follow that Pym Reading Plan. My only question is when to read Less Than Angels. I‘m not sure I‘m emotionally ready yet to find out whether Mildred gets married. 😉 3w
Crinoline_Laphroaig Thanks for reading order @Ruthiella @TheBookHippie @peanutnine Opened End is a good way to describe. I think you're right with nothing really changes @AnneCecilie 3w
julieclair @peanutnine @AnneCecilie @Ruthiella Interesting thoughts about marriage being a different kind of burden, and nothing ever changing for Mildred. Perhaps Excellent Women will always carry burdens, no matter their life situation; that‘s just who they are. They are drawn to help people, are reliable, and have difficulty saying no. 3w
DebinHawaii Vague & a bit depressing to me—the ending, not the book which I enjoyed. I don‘t care whether Mildred married but I wanted her to want & get more from her life. But true to the era for unmarried (Excellent) women I suppose. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I will look into reading more from Pam too. Thanks for the suggestions @Ruthiella And thanks for hosting @Crinoline_Laphroaig 🤗 3w
Vansa I liked the ending,with Everard Bone dumping work that she doesn't even want to do,on her.It seems very in keeping with his character.Mildred actually is fairly content with her life,and I like that the more she sees of the married state, the less alluring it seems to her!If you hadn't found someone who made it all worth it,she seems to accept that she was ok in her own way. 3w
Vansa The book and it's ending feel very timeless to me.This is still the case for single women,in most of the world.Finding love has always been difficult,and continues to be so,and single women are still looked on as people with nothing better to do than be at the Beck and call of others,without reciprocal help. 3w
Crinoline_Laphroaig @Vansa Everard Bone's way of courting? 3w
Vansa @Crinoline_Laphroaig no,I don't think so at all,really.He's not the socially awkward geek or modern romcoms, he's genuinely a quite self centred man who would look on her as unpaid editorial assistant plus housekeeper! 3w
eeclayton @Vansa I feel the same way about Everard Bone. He never contacted Mildred for the sheer pleasure of her company, he always wanted something, news about the Napiers if nothing else. I also agree with @AnneCecilie that the ending suggests that nothing changes and nothing probably will. 3w
willaful I'm really not a fan of that kind of ending -- I'm glad to see from the article above that more interesting times were possibly in store for Mildred.

3w
Crinoline_Laphroaig @willaful I gave it 4stars on Goodreads. Would have been 5 with better ending 3w
Sparklemn I also found the ending rather depressing. All that's really changed for Mildred is the number of her acquaintances grew with each one being a burden in their own way. My wish for Mildred is that she take advantage of these new relationships to expand, not narrow, her world. Take Italian lessons from her new neighbors. Join the Learned Society or the Prehistoric Society or whatever interests her and become a scholar in her own right. 🙂 1w
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Librarybelle
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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I‘ve yet to read anything by Pym, but I suspect I‘ll be reading more by her.

Mildred is an “excellent woman,” an unmarried woman of a certain age who helps her church and her community. When new neighbors move into her house, chaos, to a degree, ensues. I found myself sympathizing with Mildred quite a lot. The characters are witty, & Pym‘s writing style is satirical and engaging. Great choice for #PemberLittens ! #ExcellentWomenAndBoiledPotatoes

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Vansa
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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What a nuanced, lovely conversation. And again, what lovely writing. Rocky isn't a bad guy, or a shallow one. But love can be... disappointing at time.

Brimful I love and share your love of Barbara Pym‘s writing! 3w
Karons1 Another one ☝️ on my huge TBR 😆 3w
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Vansa @Brimful this is the first one I've read, I'm so grateful to @Crinoline_Laphroaig for leading this buddy read! I'm planning to read at least one Pym a month now. 3w
Vansa @Karons1 managed it through the Litsy #Pemberlittens chapter a day read! It's a short book 3w
Vansa @Brimful any particular reading order you would recommend? 3w
Brimful Definitely Jane and Prudence next! 3w
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Vansa
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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#Pemberlittens #Excellentwomenandboiledpotatoes @Crinoline_Laphroaig
How does she write sentences that are so simple, but so acutely capture a feeling.

Crinoline_Laphroaig Her way with words was amazing. 3w
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Sparklemn
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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“I saw myself playing a rather noble part, stepping into the background when they were reunited and going quietly away to make a cup of tea or do some washing or ironing.“

Oh, Mildred. Have some self respect. 😬

Ruthiella 😂😂😂 3w
Blueberry Lol 3w
AnneCecilie 🤣🤣 3w
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Crinoline_Laphroaig
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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For the last few years I've done this thing where I've Celebrate my Birthday for as many days as I am years old. And while I do spend money( it's my Birthday 🤷🏻‍♀️) that's not the main focus. It's about taking time to enjoy the little things in life. Like spending time with #Pemberlittens!

#ExcellentWomenandBoiledPotatoes has been a treat to host. Today is the last day of #56DaysofFun. Thanks for joining in the Celebrations. 🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈

Crinoline_Laphroaig My 📚 & 🍻Club is always a big part of the fun. Day 4 of the Celebration was June Discussion of The Guncle.

📸 is from Day 32. July Read was The Lincoln Highway so I dressed up in my British Retro 50s dress. 💋
3w
BarkingMadRun Happy birthday month!! 3w
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sarahbellum How fun! Happy birthday! 🥳 3w
Ruthiella Have a fantastic birthday. Thanks for a very entertaining read along! 😃 3w
LeahBergen Happy Birthday! And you look gorgeous! ❤️ 3w
AllDebooks It was a great readalong, thank you. Happy birthday xx 3w
AnneCecilie Happy birthday 🥳 I like your way of celebrating (edited) 3w
TheBookHippie LOVE LOVE LOVE this! And the Dress! Happy Happy Birthday!! The 50s are the best, right? 3w
TrishB That sounds fab! 3w
rwmg Happy birthday and thank you for the excuse to re-read Barbara Pym 😘 3w
MaureenMc 🥳🍷🎉 3w
Sparklemn Enjoy!! 🍻 3w
julieclair What a lovely idea! And thank you for including us all in your celebrations. This has been such a fun buddy read! 📚 🎂🥳 3w
eeclayton Thanks for hosting and happy birthday! 🥳 3w
RedxoHearts Happy belated birthday! I love your outfit 3w
DivineDiana You know how to have fun! Belated Birthday greetings! You look fabulous! 🎉🎂❤️ 2w
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Crinoline_Laphroaig
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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‘I‘m Charlotte Boniface,‘ she announced. ‘My friend Mabel Edgar and I are just moving in—‘Edgar!‘ called Miss Boniface into the other room. ‘Come and meet Miss Lathbury, who lives in the flat above us.

‘‘Do excuse me,‘ she said. ‘I always have to hang the pictures because Bony can‘t reach."

Who else thinks Edgar and Bony are totally a couple? ??‍?‍??

#Pemberlittens #ChapterTwentySix
#excellentwomenandboiledpotatoes

AllDebooks Absolutely a couple 3w
peanutnine Oh, for sure a couple! And I loved how they could read Rocky's inscription and even corrected his grammar 😂 3w
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TheBookHippie 🙋🏻‍♀️ 3w
TheBookHippie @peanutnine 💯💯💯 3w
BarkingMadRun For sure! 3w
DebinHawaii Yep! 🙋🏻‍♀️ 3w
sarahbellum 👯‍♀️ 3w
Ruthiella No doubt about it!👍 3w
julieclair Absolutely. 3w
julieclair I wonder if Mildred would recognize that they are? 3w
Vansa Definitely. And they seem quite fun and friendly! 3w
AnneCecilie I never gave it much thought before you mentioned it now. 3w
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sprainedbrain
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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I was woefully behind on the #PemberLitttens buddy read, so I started the audio yesterday and accidentally finished today. 😳

I loved this quiet, funny novel. Mildred is such a great character—I alternated being amused by her, feeling sorry for her, and wanting to shake the sh*t out of her.

My second Pym, and she was just so good!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

TheBookHippie I love this read! What other Pym did you read? 3w
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Crinoline_Laphroaig
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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What The ? Mildred⁉️
"Do we need tea?‘ she echoed. ‘But Miss Lathbury . . .‘ She sounded puzzled and distressed and I began to realise that my question had struck at something deep and fundamental. It was the kind of question that starts a landslide in the mind. I mumbled something about making a joke and that of course one needed tea always, at every hour of the day or night." ?
#Pemberlittens #Chapter25
#excellentwomenandboiledpotatoes

Ruthiella Mildred has questioned the very fabric of the universe!😱🤣 3w
AnneCecilie I‘m not a huge tea drinker, so I understand her question. But I can understand that for somebody else this might question everything. But it was nice to see Mildred asking the question. 3w
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sarahbellum It was fun to read this while I was listening to the audiobook Infused. Lots of nice crossover about the place tea has had in society and how the rations of WWII changed Britain‘s tea drinking habits 3w
TheBookHippie @sarahbellum I‘ve had that on my wishlist a long time !!! 3w
TheBookHippie @Ruthiella 🤣🤣🤣💯 3w
willaful @Ruthiella I'm not much a hot drink person at all and this has sometimes deeply upset people! 😂 3w
sarahbellum @TheBookHippie it was such a warm, cozy read and I learned a ton about tea. I definitely recommend! ☕️🫖 3w
DivineDiana The constant tea drinking seemed so polite to me. It certainly increased my desire to have a cup of tea! 1w
Crinoline_Laphroaig @DivineDiana never go wrong with tea! 1w
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AnneCecilie
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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Mildred is a single woman in post-WWII London. She is used to her routines. One day she gets some new neighbours, the Napiers, and the vicarage gets a new tenant. Suddenly things start to change.

This is a women‘s world and men aren‘t portrayed that well.

I was a little surprised by the importance of religion in this one, but it‘s not religious.

#PemberLittens
Thank you for the daily discussions @Crinoline_Laphroaig

#1952 #192025

AnneCecilie This was my first Prym, but it won‘t be my last. I would love recommendations for where to go next with Prym. 3w
Librarybelle This is my first Pym too! I hope to read more by her, and possibly for the #192025 challenge 3w
Daisey This is also the only Pym book I‘ve read, but I definitely want to read more. Quartet in Autumn will probably be my next choice as it‘s also on the 1001 list. 3w
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Crinoline_Laphroaig You're Welcome @AnneCecilie ! I too want to read more. @Daisey I just ordered Quartet in Autumn. 3w
Crinoline_Laphroaig Also this cover‼️😍 3w
AnneCecilie @Crinoline_Laphroaig I know. Virago just reissued several of her books and I love the design. @Daisey Thanks for the tips. I will definitely check that one out. @Librarybelle I loved her writing, so that will just be a bonus. 3w
rwmg I would recommend reading the books in order, i.e., Jane and Prudence next, as Mildred has a cameo in that. 3w
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staci.reads
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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I found this charming and funny. Mildred is a character who is both endearing and incredibly frustrating, letting everyone around her take advantage of her kindness and her inability to say no. I am glad to have experienced Pym's work and plan to read more. #Pemberlittens

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AnneCecilie
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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#WeeklyForecast

Not that many books in this week‘s forecast. I have a lot a plans this week so I don‘t except to get much reading done.

I want to finish Excellent Women #PemberLittens and keep up with Culture Warlords #SheSaid

I want to get started on my reread of The Accidental

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TheAromaofBooks
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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I got behind on the chapter-a-day read and then just bolted ahead and finished it 😂 I wasn't sure what to expect of this one, having never read Pym before, but I found it surprisingly enjoyable. I was slightly let down by the sitcom-like ending where things all return to basically the way they were at the beginning, but can also see how that fits into the overall theme of the story. I can see myself trying another Pym in the future.

LeeRHarry I‘m in the middle of tagged book atm having read and enjoyed Excellent Women previously. 😊 3w
Crinoline_Laphroaig Your Welcome! 3w
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Librarybelle I plan to use this for the #192025 challenge too! 3w
rabbitprincess My MIL‘s book club picked this as one of their reads for the coming year (they run September to June), so I should really read it! 3w
staci.reads I also got a late start on it (yesterday 🙄) amd will probably finish it up tonight 😂. 3w
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Crinoline_Laphroaig
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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"So he did remember me like that after all—a woman who was always making cups of tea. Well, there was nothing to be done about it now but to make one." - Mildred

The story is winding down only 3 more Chapters. Hopefully we've seen the last of Rocky.

#Pemberlittens #ChapterTwentyFour
#excellentwomenandboiledpotatoes

Crinoline_Laphroaig Also "Everard Bone and his meat". ? 3w
BarkingMadRun @Crinoline_Laphroaig she definitely worried too much about Everard‘a meat 🤣🤣 3w
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TheAromaofBooks @BarkingMadRun - I literally could not stop laughing every time she talked about Everard's meat 😂 Like what is happening right now! 3w
julieclair @TheAromaofBooks @Crinoline_Laphroaig @BarkingMadRun I am listening on audio, and every time she says “meat” in her British accent, I just lose it! 🤣🤣🤣 3w
julieclair This meme! I need to blow it up to poster size and hang it someplace where I will see it every day. 🙄🤪 3w
TheBookHippie Let‘s hope!!! Now I need to hear this on audio. Also I don‘t want this to end!!! 🤣🤣 3w
Crinoline_Laphroaig @TheBookHippie audio is perfection! 3w
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Crinoline_Laphroaig
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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"I was just finishing tea when the telephone rang. I let it ring for quite a long time before I lifted the receiver warily and held it to my ear, wondering whose voice would come out of it and what it would ask me to do."

We've a busy Saturday so we're posting early.

Was Everard Bone cooking or expecting Mildred to cook?

#Pemberlittens #ChapterTwentyThree
#excellentwomenandboiledpotatoes

Crinoline_Laphroaig And check out the Article on @Maria514626 post. 4w
Ruthiella It‘s an open question I feel. I‘d like to think he could have managed. If he asked he to cook it, it‘s only because he‘s unable to ask her out conventionally… 4w
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TheBookHippie @Ruthiella I bet you‘re right. 4w
TheBookHippie @Crinoline_Laphroaig I enjoyed that article. I do want to read more. The de-nazifying text gives one pause. Yikes. I assume when she knew better she did better. 4w
Crinoline_Laphroaig @TheBookHippie Yikes I missed that. It was late when I read. Need to go back and reread when I have a quiet moment. 3w
Crinoline_Laphroaig @Ruthiella I think so too. 3w
rubyslippersreads It seems as though every phone call or ring of the doorbell brings more work for Mildred. 😒 3w
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Maria514626
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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For the #pemberlittens reading Excellent Women (❤️) an interesting article about the author in The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/06/06/when-barbara-pym-couldnt-get-publi...

FYI—The online and print articles are the same. Confusingly, the head and subheads are different.

#excellentwomenandboiledpotatoes

Crinoline_Laphroaig Thank you for this! 4w
Maria514626 @Crinoline_Laphroaig You‘re very welcome! 4w
AnneCecilie Thanks for sharing 4w
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Maria514626 @AnneCecilie 👍👍👍 4w
TheBookHippie Wow. Thanks for sharing this. I do love her writing. De-nazifying text gives one pause. Yikes. 4w
Maria514626 @TheBookHippie It was interesting to learn about her life—as weird as it sometimes was. Stalking? De-nazification? 4w
TheBookHippie @Maria514626 Right? She‘s fascinating! 3w
Sparklemn Looks like a great article and long enough to savor. Thanks for sharing! 2w
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Crinoline_Laphroaig
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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The other day all Oklahoma Mesonet sites hit 103F/39C. First time in network's history (dating back to the mid 1990s) to have 120 sites hit that mark on the same day. Before that had 2 days with all cites 100F.

Maybe that's why this quote spoke to me. Such a beautiful way with words. For all my yelling at characters I'm loving this book.

#Pemberlittens #ChapterTwentyTwo
#excellentwomenandboiledpotatoes

Crinoline_Laphroaig Also Mildred in the rest Chapter - "Now Whose at the door ⁉️??‍♀️ 4w
TheBookHippie I agree the writing is just wonderful. 4w
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julieclair Yes. Beautiful writing. I want to read more by Barbara Pym. 4w
TheBookHippie @Crinoline_Laphroaig I've had that thought more than once in my life...OY. 4w
Crinoline_Laphroaig @julieclair I have Jane and Prudence on my Kindle. Quartet in Autumn looks good as well. 4w
TheBookHippie @Crinoline_Laphroaig I'm starting a list of her books I want to read! 3w
Sparklemn I got behind on my reading but am slowly getting through it. In this chapter, she's finally realizing that she doesn't need to carry other people's burdens. Yay! 2w
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rwmg
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym

“I should never know exactly what had passed between him and Allegra Gray. There are some things too dreadful to be revealed, and it is even more dreadful how, in spite of our better instincts, we long to know about them.“

@Crinoline_Laphroaig
#excellentwomenandboiledpotatoes

Crinoline_Laphroaig I really wanted to know!!! 4w
TheBookHippie @Crinoline_Laphroaig ME TOO!!! I am sure she had many skeletons in the closet !!! 4w
Crinoline_Laphroaig @TheBookHippie like was she actually even a widow? 4w
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Crinoline_Laphroaig
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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"There was a large car-park and Dora nudged me and pointed to a notice which said LADIES and another which said TEAS. ‘I told you the whole place would be commercialised,‘ she said."

Dora trully is the worst travel companion!
Myself I appreciate a Ladies and a cup of tea.

#Pemberlittens #ChapterTwentyOne
#excellentwomenandboiledpotatoes

AnneCecilie I know. Everything was wrong. Personally I enjoy sightseeing with a guide. So glad I won‘t have to travel with her. But again Mildred get mixed up in the Napiers. (edited) 4w
rubyslippersreads Dora is fairly unpleasant in most circumstances. It must have been awful to have her as a roommate. 4w
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BarkingMadRun She is a nightmare, and further proof that Mildred is too nice 🤣 4w
eeclayton So true. I guess Mildred had nobody else to go with ☹️ 4w
TheBookHippie Ughhhh. It‘s so infuriating 😡. 4w
julieclair I do so wish Mildred would somehow find some new friends. 4w
Crinoline_Laphroaig @AnneCecilie of all the teas shops in the UK they just happen to run into Helena⁉️ 4w
AnneCecilie @Crinoline_Laphroaig Why did Mildred even want to visit that village? She must have known that it was so small that the chances of not meeting Helena was slim to none. 4w
Crinoline_Laphroaig @rubyslippersreads @eeclayton @TheBookHippie @julieclair @BarkingMadRun @AnneCecilie To me it's like those social things that you continue to do because you've done them forever and it's hard to stop doing them. Especially for Mildred a creature of habit. 4w
Crinoline_Laphroaig @AnneCecilie it sounded like it had been planned for awhile so supposedly just coincidence? I can't imagine Mildred going anywhere spontaneously. 4w
AnneCecilie @Crinoline_Laphroaig You‘re probably right 😊 She and Dora have probably had this planned for awhile. At least that must have meant that she was mentally prepared to meet Helena too. 4w
TheBookHippie @Crinoline_Laphroaig I agree with that. But ugh… the poor woman. 4w
julieclair @Crinoline_Laphroaig I think you're right. Mildred is living on autopilot. 4w
Sparklemn @julieclair Great description! Definitely on autopilot. 3w
DivineDiana I was surprised to see how prejudiced Dora was to the Catholics! 1w
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Crinoline_Laphroaig
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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‘Yes, there‘s always Stonehenge,‘ said Everard rather stiffly.

So is this Everad's version of courting?
#Pemberlittens #ChapterTwenty
#excellentwomenandboiledpotatoes

Also anytime Stonehenge is mentioned I think of this wonderful 📸 my husband took. Love how he caught the bird flying through.

TheBookHippie I wondered too- is he trying to be romantic ? 4w
AnneCecilie I think so. He did start talking about marrying and how an excellent woman might be what he was looking for. But Mildred killed that pretty fast. 4w
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peanutnine @TheBookHippie @AnneCecilie I agree, I think he's just awkward and bad at compliments. And she is oblivious and still determined that he is interested in Helen 4w
BarkingMadRun The two of them are so clueless! Asking about the Napiers twice is definitely not helping! 4w
julieclair The whole lunch scene was cringe-inducing. Between Everard‘s awkward attempts at conversation, and Mildred‘s complete inability to comprehend that he might be interested in her, I couldn‘t wait for the meal to be over! How in the world are these two ever going to get together? 4w
Crinoline_Laphroaig @julieclair that's what I'm wondering! 4w
DivineDiana Yes! A lovely photograph of Stonehenge! And albeit awkward, I am glad to see that they are having a “date”! (edited) 2w
Crinoline_Laphroaig @DivineDiana it's one of his best! And I spotted a typo to fix. 🤦🏻‍♀️ 2w
DivineDiana Missed the typo entirely! 🙂 1w
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AnneCecilie
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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It was a pity you didn‘t use the oven cloth,‘ I suggested.
‘But it had only been in the oven a few minutes. Besides, I don‘t think there was an oven cloth.‘
‘I always have mine hanging on a nail by the side of the cooker.‘
‘Well, you‘re a sensible person. It‘s just the kind of thing you would have.‘
Oh, dear, one was to be for ever cast down, I thought, brooding over the piece of fish on my plate. If I had been flattered by Everard‘s invitation

AnneCecilie to lunch I was now put in my place as the kind of person who would have an oven cloth hanging on a nail by the side of the cooker. #excellentwomenandboiledpotatoes @Crinoline_Laphroaig 4w
AnneCecilie I actually think that Everard is trying to give Mildred a compliment here. 4w
Ruthiella I think so too. He‘s a little (a lot?) awkward around her, but I think he genuinely likes her. 4w
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Crinoline_Laphroaig @AnneCecilie I think so too. Everard is sooo awkward. @Ruthiella 4w
julieclair Great pic! And I‘m happy to see that potatoes have made an appearance, although these are baked, not boiled. 🥔😉 4w
DivineDiana I do sense something brewing between Mildred and Everard. 2w
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AnneCecilie
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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One day towards the end of August I was coming out of my office at one o‘clock when I saw Everard Bone standing looking in a shopping window some distance away. My immediate reaction was one of irritation. What was he doing? If he wanted to see me, why couldn‘t he telephone and arrange a meeting in the normal way?

#excellentwomenandboiledpotatoes #PemberLittens

DivineDiana Everard is a strange one! 2w
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Crinoline_Laphroaig
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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Another alternate title for this book.

I continue my angry shouting at Characters. Today my ire is towards Helena Napier.

‘But my chairs have gone! Really, this is too bad. And the desk too! Mildred, why did you let them go?‘ 🤬

#ChapterNineteen #PemberLittens
#excellentwomenandboiledpotatoes

Crinoline_Laphroaig Sounds like a perfect retirement plan. ‘I believe she is quite happy pottering about her garden and reading novels." 1mo
TheBookHippie @Crinoline_Laphroaig that is my plan 🎉 also GOOD GRIEF. I am yelling every morning ! 🤣👀🤦🏻‍♀️ 1mo
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BarkingMadRun Ugh how does she get roped into all of this stuff? She‘s too nice! 1mo
MoonWitch94 So. Much. Yelling. And throwing my tablet down on the bed. She IS too nice @BarkingMadRun 1mo
julieclair And then Helena asks Mildred to write to Rocky about the furniture, and Mildred actually goes ahead and does it! Meanwhile, Helena wonders if Julian will take her out for a drink. Honestly, I just wish I could shake some sense into Mildred. I love her dearly, but she needs to develop a spine 1mo
julieclair @Crinoline_Laphroaig @TheBookHippie If you substitute "doing puzzles" for "pottering around the garden", I am living (and loving!) that retired life right now! ? 1mo
AnneCecilie If the retirement plan just includes reading, I‘m in. Like everyone else have already said, Mildred is just too nice. How does she get involved in all this stuff? 1mo
sarahbellum I desperately wanted to sit Mildred down and explain what boundaries are and why she needs to start creating them! 1mo
eeclayton I agree. Everyone is horrible in this book, and Mildred really needs to learn to say no. 1mo
Crinoline_Laphroaig @eeclayton @sarahbellum @AnneCecilie @julieclair @MoonWitch94 @BarkingMadRun @TheBookHippie for all my yelling I'm enjoying this book. But if it ends with Mildred still being a doormat, that opinion will change. 1mo
julieclair @Crinoline_Laphroaig I agree. I will be very disappointed if Mildred doesn‘t learn to stand up for herself by the end of the book. 1mo
Sparklemn @AnneCecilie @crinoline_laphroaig @thebookhippie @julieclair @annececilie My retirement plan would include reading as well...and drinking tea and meeting my friends for cocktails. And not staying home cleaning or writing letters on their behalf. 🙄 (edited) 3w
julieclair @Sparklemn Yes! Tea and cocktails both definitely have to be included in any retirement plan. 🫖🍹😉 3w
AnneCecilie @Sparklemn My retirement plan will include reading books, shopping books and all things books. Not sure what I would drink, but I love warm chocolate 3w
DivineDiana Yes! @Sparklemn And I am so unhappy that everyone uses Mildred! Is there such a thing as just too nice? 2w
DivineDiana Oh, and didn‘t the desk have the worms and it was carted away? 2w
Crinoline_Laphroaig @DivineDiana they're just horrible! 2w
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Vansa
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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Again, previous sentence...pathos. this sentence, hilarity and sarcasm.

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Vansa
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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Something that always struck me about Virgina Woolf.She had a fairly large support structure of domestic help,including someone who cleared out chamber pots( yes, in the 20th century). The Woolfs didn't care to invest in modern plumbing!

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AnneCecilie
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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I went into the room indicated, but then drew back, thinking that I had entered a library or store-room by mistake, for the floor was littered with books which seemed to have overflowed from the tall shelves which lined three of the walls

(I didn‘t think I would have particularly have enjoyed having tea with Mrs Napier and Miss Clovis, but that library though…)

#excellentwomenandboiledpotatoes #PembeeLittens
@Crinoline_Laphroaig

tpixie Great photo!! 1mo
eeclayton I wouldn't have enjoyed tea with anyone in the book if I were Mildred! But I agree about the library 😍 1mo
Crinoline_Laphroaig Love it! 1mo
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Vansa
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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Mrs.Bone is hilarious. How nice that she can eat her enemies,indeed

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Vansa
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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Vansa
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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Excellent snarky Khayyam reference. Life very resembles romantic poetry!

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Vansa
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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#Excellentwomenandboiledpotatoes #Pemberlittens It amazes me how Pym expertly switches from sentences that make you feel exasperated, devastated, and then laugh out loud....in the same paragraph. Like life itself

rubyslippersreads On a “real life” note, wouldn‘t that cod in the basket start to give off an odor? 🤭🐟 4w
Vansa @rubyslippersreads huh. Interesting, never thought of that. Maybe so many people had their dinners that nobody minded?! 😂 4w
Sparklemn @rubyslippersreads Yes!! I thought the same thing. And the thought of eating cod “humbly“ makes me laugh. (edited) 3w
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Crinoline_Laphroaig
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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I'm back! These last few chapters I've spent so much time yelling at characters. 'Who the 🤬 do you think you are? Always expecting Margaret to do everything.'

#excellentwomenandboiledpotatoes
#ChapterEighteen #PemberLittens

BarkingMadRun I definitely spend a lot of time yelling! 1mo
TheBookHippie This is good therapeutic yelling!! Every page every day!!! 1mo
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julieclair What really makes me crazy is that I don‘t think anyone has ever said “Thank you” to Mildred. (edited) 1mo
Crinoline_Laphroaig @julieclair you are right! 1mo
Ruthiella Pym‘s unpublished sequel to this was tentatively titled “Women Who Take No Sh** From Nobody”. 😜 1mo
Librarybelle I feel so bad for Mildred, and I cringe with every derogatory or “unintentional” put down against her 1mo
julieclair @Ruthiella Too bad we can't read that one! 😉 1mo
Vansa What I find devastating is how well she captures people's attitudes towards single women, that complete dismissiveness and the assumption of a complete lack of a life of their own.Even Helena Napier,who should be more liberal thinks this,even sadder is that in most of the world,that's not changed.Heres a good article that captures this for India:https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/i-am-40-and-single-thank-you-for-asking-8033903/ 1mo
Crinoline_Laphroaig @Vansa she makes you feel for Margaret. And yes there is still too much of that attitude in the world. 1mo
rubyslippersreads It makes me furious to see Mildred turning herself into a doormat at every opportunity. 4w
Sparklemn I'm not much of a housekeeper, so the thought of cleaning up after two men while they went out drinking is unthinkable. I'm heading to the bar, too, boys! 🍸 3w
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Vansa
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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That's so profound. People don't write sentences like this anymore. Sally Rooney, Meg Mason, I'm looking at you.
#Excellentwomenandboiledpotatoes #Pemberlittens

Crinoline_Laphroaig Such beautiful writing! 1mo
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Vansa
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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OUCH. Some friends can be so hurtful. #Excellentwomenandboiledpotatoes #Pemberlittens

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Vansa
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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#Pemberlittens #Excellentwomenandboiledpotatoes
What a devastating couple of paragraphs. A feeling of inadequacy and utter loneliness on one side, heartbreak on the other. As she so beautifully puts it, both deep experiences for young people

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Vansa
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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DivineDiana Spaghetti is challenging! 🍝 2w
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Vansa
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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#Excellentwomenandboiledpotatoes #Pemberlittens Phew!! Pym's writing is ferociously insightful. That one little sentence instantly does the job of an entire hour of psychoanalysis.

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Vansa
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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#Excellentwomenandboiledpotatoes #Pemberlittens it's incredible how casually the Blitz is referenced in this book.Thats how people coped,I guess. Life goes on,amidst the Chaos and the rubble, and sometimes all you need is a cup of tea.

DivineDiana It reminds me of the phrase “Carry on”. 2w
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Vansa
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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