- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Virago; New ed. edition (15 Jan. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1844084507
- ISBN-13: 978-1844084500
- Product Dimensions: 20 x 2 x 13.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 96,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
No Fond Return Of Love (Virago Modern Classics) Paperback – 15 Jan 2009
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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)
One of her very best - comic, heartrending, brave; in short, like life itself' Shirley HazzardSee all Product description
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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.
Nevertheless it still has much to say about relationships. There are also brilliant touches of humour and though some of the characters have aspects which are ridiculous, they are nevertheless dealt with in an ultimately kind manner.
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