An Unsuitable Attachment
Set in St Basil’s, an undistinguished North London parish, An Unsuitable Attachment is indeed full of the high comedy for which Barbara Pym is famed. There is Mark Ainger, the vicar, who introduces his sermons with remarks like ‘Those of you who are familiar with the church of Santa Maria... show more
Set in St Basil’s, an undistinguished North London parish, An Unsuitable Attachment is indeed full of the high comedy for which Barbara Pym is famed.
There is Mark Ainger, the vicar, who introduces his sermons with remarks like ‘Those of you who are familiar with the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.’ His wife Sophia with her cat, ‘I feel sometimes that I can’t reach Faustina as I’ve reached other cats.’ Rupert Stonebird, anthropologist and eligible bachelor. The well-bred Ianthe Broome who works at the library and forms an unsuitable attachment with a young man there. The sharp-tongue Mervyn Cantrell, chief librarian, who complains that ‘when books have things spilt on them it is always bottled sauce or gravy of the thickest and most repellent kind rather than something utterly exquisite and delicious.’ There is also Daisy Pettigrew, the vet’s sister, another obsessional cat person, and Sister Dew who bears a strong resemblance to Sister Blatt in Excellent Women.
Publish date: 2010-01-01
Publisher: Moyer Bell and its subsidiaries
Pages no: 256
Edition language: English
In terms of tone, this novel is somewhere between the two Pym works I've previously read: it has much of the lighthearted banter and witty observation of Excellent Women, but also a melancholy air akin to Quartet in Autumn. The "unsuitable attachment" of the title is supposed to be that of John an...
An Unsuitable Attachment was Barbara Pym's seventh book -- a number that should prove ominous, as this would turn out to be the book which publishers rejected on the grounds that it was (allegedly) "unpublishable". Various reasons for this were advanced; apparently Pym was told initially that it ju...
BBC blurb - Penelope Wilton stars in Barbara Pym's wonderful story of love - requited and otherwise - in unfashionable north London in 1960. A terrace of newly done-up houses attracts a different kind of resident to Queens Park, and the Reverend Mark Ainger and his wife Sophia are keen to attract th...
Barbara Pym writes of such restrained, easily embarrassed but never willing to show it people. Ianthe's almost hardly there love story enthralled and everyone else was five parts funny and one part tender.
This lightly humorous tale is set in a north London parish in the 50s/60s and concerns the marrying off (or not) of some members of that parish. Both the author and the characters in it assume that most people go to church, and that that church is CofE.It is of its time, so can seem a little twee, w...