Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: Quartet in Autumn (Barbara Pym)

Pym, Barbara - Quartet in Autumn


Title: Quartet in Autumn
Author: Barbara Pym
Genre: Fiction / Contemporary  Pages: 218
First published: 1977
Edition: Paperback, printed in 1988 by E P Dutton

This novelis one of quiet charm, quiet wit and quiet tragedy.

The tale is about four  people in their sixties that each live alone in 1970s London. They work together in an office, but though they would not consider each other to be friends, when the women retire, all their lives change.

There is optimism as well as sadness in this book. There is the glaring commentary on society, which is still true today, that the elderly are often forgotten.

I did enjoy this one. It is not a story I have read before. How often do you read about older protagonists? I loved the differences between the four main characters, their idiosyncracies, and the way they viewed each other. I thought the glimpses of thoughts and opinions from other people were very interesting, but unobtrusively done.

I think this is a story that has a lot to say and I think it is worth reading. I am glad I read it. I have three more books by this author and I will definitely read those in the future.

5 out of 7 stars

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