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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 14 March 2014
I first read this about 50 years ago and enjoyed it again now. The Kindle version a bit careless here and there: e.g. dining-room was rendered as "din in groom"! Does no-on subedit these things?
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on 24 February 2014
Life as a wife and mother of two young children back in the 1930s is, on the surface, very different to life today - a household filled with servants, methods of communication (writing endless letters to the bank, grocer, fish monger etc). Yet the way EM Delafield described life back then has a lot of similar challenges that still exist today- entertaining children in the school holidays, finding the right time to tackle difficult subjects with her husband, thinking of a suitably clever response to an irritating comment made by an acquaintance five minutes after they leave, juggling money problems.

EM Delafield has a very entertaining way of portraying all the little things that make up daily life in a light hearted and amusing way so the reader empathises and chuckles at the same time. Society, politics and technology may have changed beyond recognition in the 80 odd years since this book was written, but human nature remains reassuringly unchanged.
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on 2 February 2014
The gentle humour throughout the books together with Delafield's insight into character would be enough to give one great pleasure. But in reading them one learns so much about the time when they are written (Before the War and during the war) and also about "Further Afield" in America and elsewhere. Wonderful books to have on one's kindle to read and re-read.
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on 5 July 2015
A book whose title does not hint at the delights within - I expected very little from the title and started to read it, bored, in a hospital waiting area as this was the only thing downloaded to my kindle app that I'd bought in a 'Oooh, 99p' moment. Gosh, what I would have missed had I not started - within four pages, it had become a book I knew I would re-read for the rest of my life and fell headlong into 'her' world of pure Englishness in all it's awkward, semi-truthful, mortifying social wonderfulness. Never has the planting of bulbs seemed such an excruciating social problem, or a hat purchase so poised on the knife edge of social failure. This all sounds utterly outdated and meaningless to modern readers but it isn't, it's sparkling with the most suble of wit, this is Adrian Mole in a country house in the 20's. A clever, clever, clever writer and this is a timeless classic.

HOWEVER, do NOT BUY this version, buy a proper paper copy of this book which you will treasure forever and re-read over and over again as this woeful 'kindle edition' is so littered with typos I'm sure someone was drunk when they typed it up. Double/tripple letters, missing letters, missing *words*, illogical words (i.e. "ffiyaaug said...") and at times, totally unreadable. We are talking 20 per page at times. How on earth anyone can charge money for this is a mystery to me.
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on 5 May 2014
Just finished the first book and starting the second - very funny. I'm looking forward to see how she arrives in Russia and whether a decent cook ever arrives. I suspect not. Would recommend the book; amazing value for £0.77. Kindle presentation pretty good but could do with a bit of tidying up. Did not spoil the book at all.
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on 14 January 2016
Love the Provincial Lady series. This is a comfort read now, as I know the books so well. Obviously I needed a Kindle version as well. The Provincial Lady is middle class, collects her children from their boarding school and has trouble with her staff, but, despite this, the book feels modern and fresh (to me anyway). I'm sure the Provincial Lady would be a blogger if she was around today, with her tales of everyday life in her distinctively humorous and self-deprecating style.
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on 30 May 2014
I have a very battered paperback version of this book, which is much used. Mainly because it a pick up and putdownable book which loses nothing in between readings.
Humorous and ironic in almost equal measures, its description of the life and attitudes of the times makes me wonder about the inverted snobbery of today.
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on 6 October 2014
I loved this, it is a bit dated but the way people interact and the 'what I wish I said' elements don't date. A gentle tale written in diary form easy to read and some very amusing passages. Written with humour and wit that was very enjoyable. My only complaint was when the french girl is quoted there is no translation and my french wasn't up to some of it so it may have been witty but I wouldn't have known! It didn't spoil the book though. The first part is an introductry to her home life as the mother of two and her day to day dealings with her neighbours, relatives, friends and the local W.I.
The second part where she goes to America as a succesful novelist was just as good as the first part and just as enjoyable. The third part is set at the outbreak of the second world war where she is trying to get to do some war work with not much success.
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on 6 January 2016
I really enjoyed this in a fairly mindless, undemanding way. I am a big fan of " period" literature and while
The Provoncial Lady can't hold a candle to my favourite EF Benson characters, I galloped happily through this in nightly increments
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on 1 April 2016
Disappointed. I just did not find it as funny as the reviews led me to believe. There is too much French text, with no English translation. I lost patience halfway through the first book. Dated and dull. I had to read Cold Comfort Farm (again) to bring a smile to my face.
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