This novel is so very British, reserved, yet profound. It beautifully celebrates the cerebral machinations of a small Oxfordshire village and portrays the intertwined lives of its aging as well as its younger residents. Symptomatic of changing times, the village has two doctors, a Dr. G who is older and traditional and comforting, unwilling to dispense medicine but more than able to send his patients away with a platitude or bromide; and a younger doctor, geriatrics specialist, far more modern, believing in the cure-all of exercise and perhaps a prescription. Besides the medical comforters is the traditional religious comforter, Reverend Tom, a widower living with his thwarted sister Daphe, who dreams of owning a dog and living on a sun-drenched island in Greece. Reverend Tom is a lovely, harmless man, unable to be bold or aggressive, dreaming of a lost medieval village somewhere in the woods around the town, and preoccupied with history while the present slips away from him. Then there is Emma, an anthropologist, rather plain by her own telling, who has come to the town to recover from a shabby "affair" with a fellow academic, as well as to study small-town village life. After doing something impetuous, she finds herself facing the same rather boring man with which she was slightly entangled and is befuddled again as to what their "relationship," if it can be called that, really means, if anything. "A Few Green Leaves" is really about what is meaningful and beautiful in our lives. So very little can mean so much to us. A true artist, Barbara Pym creates for us these village lives, with their frustrations, their humor, their longings, and their mortality. This was her last artistic effort before her own death two months after its completion. It is a fine work, and I felt the whole way that I was in the secure hands of a master story teller: wise, funny, perceptive, and profoundly literate. Bravo!