Monday, May 25, 2009

Some Tame Gazelle

Title: Some Tame Gazelle
Author: Barbara Pym
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 252
Published: 1950
Date Finished: 30 April 2009
My Rating: 3 Stars
Challenges: 100+, Decades, New Author, Library

Barbara Pym's first novel, published in 1950, tells the story of middle aged spinsters Harriet and Belinda Bede. Bubbly, chubby, fun and outgoing Harriet loves to take young curates under her wings and has made a habit of turning down the marriage proposals of an Italian Count. Meek, shy and romantic Belinda has been harboring feelings of unrequited love for the town's vicar whom she has known since they were in college together.
A comedy about life in an English country village filled with a host of eccentric characters. Sounds like just the type of novel I would adore and sing the praises of, but my enjoyment of this book was much lower than I thought it would be. I thought maybe it is because I am not a middle aged spinster (still in my twenties, have been married for 8 years and have 2 kids) but that has not stopped me from enjoying other such books so that is not it.
This book did have plenty of humorous and enjoyable moments that I got caught up in reading but at other times I was just not feeling compelled to open the book and keep going. A good book but I don't know if the book or the author garners the comparisons to Jane Austen that I have seen heaped upon them.
But I am not done with Barbara Pym. I have heard so much good, those Jane Austen comparisons etc, and this was her first novel so I will read more of her books and hope to find something that pulls me in more than Some Tame Gazelle did.


Emma J said...

Some Tame Gazelle, I think, was one of her more forgettable books. A Little Lower than Angels made me laugh *outloud* the *second* time I read it (while having a miscarriage). Excellent Women is also excellent.

Just found your site - enjoying it!

Gerbera Daisy Mom said...

I know you aren't positng here anymore, but just saw that you read Barbara Pym. I loved Excellent Women, and have Quartet in Autumn sitting on my bedside table. I still don't understand the comparison to J Austen, but I think she is a quaint writer.