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No Fond Return Of Love (VMC) [Paperback]

Barbara Pym , Paul Binding
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.79 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

15 Jan 2009 VMC (Book 271)
Dulcie Mainwearing is always helping others, but never looks out for herself - especially in the realm of love. Her friend Viola is besotted by the alluring Dr Aylwin Forbes, so surely it isn't prying if Dulcie helps things along? Aylwin, however, is smitten by Dulcie's pretty young niece. And perhaps Dulcie herself, however ridiculous it may be, is falling, just a little, for Aylwin. Once life's little humiliations are played out, maybe love will be returned, and fondly, after all . . .

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No Fond Return Of Love (VMC) + Crampton Hodnet (VMC) + Civil To Strangers (VMC)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; New ed. edition (15 Jan 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844084507
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844084500
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 105,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


I'd sooner read a new Barbara Pym than a new Jane Austen (Philip Larkin)

One of her very best - comic, heartrending, brave; in short, like life itself (Shirley Hazzard)

No novelist brings more telling observation or more gentle pleasure (Jilly Cooper)

A splendid humorous writer (John Betjeman)

Book Description

One of her very best - comic, heartrending, brave; in short, like life itself' Shirley Hazzard

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love Returned? 10 Aug 2009
I think the previous review is terribly unfair. Yes 'No Fond Return of Love' is not the most laugh out loud, funny of Pym's books (that accolade belongs to 'Jane and Prudence'. But it is a touching and sensitively drawn portrait of single intelligent women (who are no longer in the first flush of youth) living in post war London. If that makes it sound boring - it is not. It is a beautiful book showing a rarely depicted side of London. I would say reading it is akin to listening to a new and difficult album by your favourite group/artist. On first listening you are not sure about the departure from the 'old' sound. After a couple more plays - you wonder why you did not love it immediately - and it is now your favourite of their work. A book to be savoured.
Most recommended, but not for those with short attention spans - like the first reviewed you may be disappointed!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still going strong 5 Sep 2009
The utterly brilliant Miss Pym, as usual with her quiet, quietly devastating, devastatingly funny novels - sharp observation that still holds good, even so many years later. As anyone who has ever attended an academic conference will testify - nothing changes! Remember that these were written when the world was different - but human nature was much the same.
The woman was a genius.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found this rather less engrossing than other Barbara Pym novels I have read. It was sadder, it was less funny, and above all, the various elements of the plot seemed, for the first half of the book, to fit rather loosely together and there was little sense of forward momentum as Pym switched the focus from one cast of characters to another.

That said, it was certainly enjoyable to read throughout - there is a quite unique narrative voice and narrative style at work - and as the novel entered its second half, it did all start to cohere, for me. The ending brings a quite unexpected - and also, I found, quite moving, plot turn - which one of the character likens to the ending of Mansfield Park. I could see exactly what Barbara Pym had in mind, as it is the novelist's prerogative to make something that has seemed quite out of the question for a very long time suddenly start to happen.

So, this is not where I would start reading Barbara Pym. And I would not agree with Shirley Hazzard, quoted on the front cover as saying it is one of her very best. But I would certainly recommend it to those who have enjoyed her other books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wry humour 28 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really like Barbara Pym's work, always subtly amusing and observational. Good price quick delivery will purchase more from this author
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Never lets me down 6 Dec 2010
I have been reading Barbara Pym since I discovered her by accident when I picked up one of her books left behind by someone else on a cruise. I have since bought almost every one of her books and never been disappointed. This writer comes from an age of genteel manners and old fashioned values. However, she is never boring and her observations of people and their behavior continue to amuse me. She is quite unique and someone I would recommend to anyone wanting a good, gossipy read with a good serving of humour. I have passed her books on to many of my friends and each one of them has enjoyed them as much as I have.
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3.0 out of 5 stars slight 30 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Pym's on the strength of having read The Sweet Dove Died and a few others by her, but this book did not engage me at all. I found it whimsical and insubstantial and the two main female characters lacked conviction. It's fine to read on a beach or on the train - but I doubt anyone will remember this book once they have put it down
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pym well up to standard 11 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Definitely Pym at or near the the top of her game, while if it may be difficult to form a strong attachment to any of the characters..
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