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A Few Green Leaves [Paperback]

Barbara Pym
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 May 1999
Emma Howick, an aspiring anthropologist, chooses to settle in a country community in the heart of England, with a view to researching a study on "The Social Patterns of a West Oxfordshire Village". She soon finds herself inextricably caught up in the lives of her new neighbours.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Moyer Bell Ltd ,U.S.; New Ed edition (1 May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559212284
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559212281
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14.6 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 779,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Emma Howick, an aspiring anthropologist, chooses to settle in a sleepy country community in the heart of England, with a view to researching a study on ‘The Social Patterns of a West Oxfordshire Village’. She soon finds herself inextricably caught up in the lives of her new neighbours: Tom Dagnall, the widowed rector who is passionate about local history; Tom’s dominating and frustrated sister, Daphne, whose ambitions are to own a dog and escape to a Greek island; Adam Prince, a fastidious and self-indulgent good food inspector; Sir Miles, the elusive local squire; and last but not least, the genteel spinsters, Misses Lee, Grundy and Lickerish.

In 'A Few Green Leaves', Barbara Pym chronicles everyday life with her inimitable warmth and humour, creating an incomparable, vivid portrait of English village society.

“Her sense of humour is as strong as ever. The set pieces are as witty, or wittier, than anything she has ever written.”
FINANCIAL TIMES

“Miss Pym’s characters are human and warm and vulnerable … they establish themselves immediately, they stay in the mind. This is a book to be taken slowly and easily … there are epiphanies in it, showings-forth of joy.”
SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

“She has a connoisseur’s eye for the absurd, almost disconcerting candour, and the ability to note shortcomings with amused equanimity.”
THE LISTENER

Also available in Flamingo: 'Civil to Strangers', 'The Sweet Dove Died' and 'Quartet in Autumn'.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Barbara Pym, who died in 1980, spent the last years of her life in an Oxfordshire village, sharing a small cottage with her sister. Between 1950 and 1961 she published six novels. After a gap of sixteen years, publication of ‘Quartet in Autumn’ in 1977 was treated as a major literary event, as was her next novel, ‘The Sweet Dove Died’. Four more novels were published posthumously, as was ‘Civil to Strangers’, a collection of writings including one complete novel and sections of three others.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Green leaves turning to autumn shades 12 Oct 2010
Format:Paperback
Yesterday was my first day back from holiday. It was busy, needless to say and we also lost our broadband in the office for a while towards the end of the day which made life difficult.

By the end of it I wanted to be soothed with gentle, perceptive writing, a dry wit and a degree of detachment, which I like but has become rather unfashionable in these days of letting all one's emotions hang out all over the place. I come over all headmistressy with too much public weeping and gnashing of teeth ("put that heart on your sleeve away, please !").

I picked up A Few Green Leaves by Barbara Pym. I really love everything she has ever written (anyone brought up on Jane Austen like I was would feel the same). This book is no exception. It was Miss Pym's last book. In its outlook one could say that it is an autumnal feel to it - calm, gently mocking in places and dispassionate. There's less humour than in her previous books and though there are tinges of melancholy it's not sad, far from it; it leaves one feeling that there may be the possibility of a happy outcome for Emma and Tom.

Mission accomplished - reading my tatty old copy, I was soothed and entertained yet again. Excellent for calming the mind at the end of a busy day.

The HR Headmistress
Author: How to Get Top Marks in ... Managing Poor Work Performance
bb
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars elegiac last novel 25 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was Pym's last novel written in the years after she become once again publishable and published just after her death. It covers the lives of a range of Oxfordshire villagers and no doubt draws on Pym's experience of living in an Oxfordshire village in her retirement.

Pym still shows here her knowledge of the human heart, the strangeness of renewing acquaintance with old loves being a theme of her later years and fully developed here and the novel is written in the inimitable style of her maturity. Each chapter holds the interest, and there is much both to smile at and to sympathise with, for all her characters. The novel lacks the high spirits of her earlier work, but retains a comic tone in its observations of the exchanges of everyday life. The tone is elegiac - and much more welcoming of life than its immediate predecessor, Quartet In Autumn. It probably helps that the most central character is in her 30s - though there is a rich cast list of all ages.

In short, I would strongly recommend this to admirers of Barbara Pym. But for those coming to her novels, start with the ones she wrote in the 1950s, or just possibly The Sweet Dove Died, is what I'd recommend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks 4 Jun 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Book came on time and in good condition.
I often buy it to give to people
as it's a favourite of mine.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very fine novel 29 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you've read any Barbara Pym, you'll know the kind of thing. Gentle humour and whimscality, a bit of romance and a story of imperfect human beings trying to find some meaning in the their lives. Beautifully written and a book you could lose yourself in. A shame it isn't longer.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor for Pym 19 May 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book, written shortly before her death, is probably Pym's worse novel, and well below her usual standard set by the books she wrote in the 1950s. Formulaic and written rather unnaturally, with characters which are not convincing. Has flashes of her unique style but really of interest only to dedicated Pymmites.
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