Thursday, February 13, 2014

Quartet in Autumn

Finished Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym. It was published in 1977, a good fifteen years after her previous novel No Fond Return of Love. Set very much in the 70s, it is the story of four aging office workers, Marcia, Letty, Norman, and Edwin, on the verge of retirement. All live alone in their own quirky lives. Contemporary music, hairstyles and fashion perplex these people as does what to do with their future. When the two women retire events take an unexpected turn. While there were moments of humor in this book, it was not laced with the Pym wit I am accustomed to. This story, though still populated with vicars, is a bleak departure from her earlier novels. Her miniscule attention to the drab daily details of peoples lives is still there, but there were no hoped for cameos of characters from previous works. I liked the book, even in it's bleakness.