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Glass of Blessings: A Novel by Barbara Pym
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Glass of Blessings: A Novel (original 1958; edition 2008)

by Barbara Pym

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7933019,883 (3.94)1 / 141
Wilmet Forsyth is well dressed, well looked after, suitably husbanded, good looking and fairly young - but very bored. Her husband Rodney, a handsome army major, is slightly balder and fatter than he once was. Wilmet would like to think she has changed rather less. Her interest wanders to the nearby Anglo-catholic church, where at last she can neglect her comfortable household in the more serious-minded company of three unmarried priests, and, of course, Piers Longridge, a man of an unfathomably different character altogether.… (more)
Member:aarti
Title:Glass of Blessings: A Novel
Authors:Barbara Pym
Info:Moyer Bell and its subsidiaries (2008), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Publisher, ARC, E-Book, 2013, England, 20th Century, Family, Humor

Work details

A Glass of Blessings by Barbara Pym (1958)

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 Virago Modern ClassicsBarbara Pym centenary: A Glass of Blessings37 unread / 37rainpebble, July 2013
 
 

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Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
I don't think A Glass of Blessings is one of my all-time favourite Pyms but it's still positively delightful. Pym is, dare I say it, a little less harsh toward most of her characters here, which I personally think is a shame - but may come as a relief to some readers!

Wilmet the narrator makes this novel, an unusually peaceful one even by Pym's standards, with her self-doubting personality guiding us through her own journey of mild discontentment at a life more predictable than some of her contemporaries, and - in her mind, at least - still superior to others. The joys of the theft of a Faberge egg, mother-in-law Sibyl's refreshingly frank atheism, and a house of priests, all provide great fodder for Pym's scythe-like character work, and her sharp, bracing, but always fair assessment of character. I do wonder how Piers' secret would have played out sixty years ago (for a member of my generation, it was rather clear from page one) but Pym is a humanist, less susceptible to the biases of her era than many, which means the comedy of errors between Piers and Wilmet retains its power, rather than feeling outdated. Which is nice.

Another rich and rewarding Pym. ( )
  therebelprince | Apr 27, 2020 |
Ex-lib. JCC ( )
  ME_Dictionary | Mar 20, 2020 |
Enjoyed this greatly; the human condition finely observed, although it is almost impossible to summarise the plot, because not much happens. ( )
  Roarer | Nov 17, 2019 |
Enjoyable as ever, although I wasn't quite as comfortable with the 'harmless flirtations' as the introduction (which wasn't great) suggested I should be. Wilmet (odd name) was a great protagonist and her reactions and feelings rang true. Her agnostic mother-in-law Sibyl was a breath of fresh air, and the trio of priests was also entertaining.

Not my favourite, but still 5*. ( )
  pgchuis | Oct 25, 2019 |
I don't know why this took me so long to finish. I did enjoy it. I was able to appreciate it more when I had time to read it consistently. Interesting character study. Nice relaxed cozy book. ( )
  njcur | Nov 29, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Barbara Pymprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bayley, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ford, JessieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schuman, JackieCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tomlinson, PatienceNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
When God at first made man,
Having a glasse of blessings standing by;
Let us (and he) poure on him all we can
Let the world's riches, which dispersed lie,
Contract into a span.
GEORGE HERBERT: The Pulley
Dedication
First words
I suppose it must have been the shock of hearing the telephone ring, apparently in the church, that made me turn my head and see Piers Longridge in one of the side aisles behind me.
When I was a young teacher in the Oxford University English Department I used to visit in the summer holiday - the long vac as it is called - the small public library in the village where my parents were living to see if I could find something light and entertaining to offset my dutiful daily struggles with Beowulf and Paradise Lost. (Introduction)
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Wilmet Forsyth is well dressed, well looked after, suitably husbanded, good looking and fairly young - but very bored. Her husband Rodney, a handsome army major, is slightly balder and fatter than he once was. Wilmet would like to think she has changed rather less. Her interest wanders to the nearby Anglo-catholic church, where at last she can neglect her comfortable household in the more serious-minded company of three unmarried priests, and, of course, Piers Longridge, a man of an unfathomably different character altogether.

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Wilmot Forsyth is well dressed, well looked after, suitably husbanded, good-looking and fairly young - but very bored. Her sober husband Rodney, who works at the Ministry, is slightly balder and fatter than he once was. Wilmot would like to think she has changed rather less. Her interest wanders to the nearby church, where she can neglect her comfortable household in the more serious-minded company of three unmarried priests, and, of course, Piers Longridge, a man of an unfathomably different character altogether.
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