Over the years, as Barbara Pym replaced Nancy Mitford, Georgette Heyer, even Jane Austen, as my most loved author, I devoured all her books, but Jane and Prudence remains my favourite. Even an umpteenth reading this weekend was punctuated by gasps of joy, laughter and wonder that this lovely book should remain so fresh, funny and true to life" - Jilly Cooper
"The setting of this very funny novel, one of Barbara Pym's earliest, is an English village where Jane's husband is the newly appointed vicar, and where Prudence will pay Jane a visit and find herself courted by a fatuous young widower. Prudence, at twenty-nine, has achieved nothing in life but a dull research job in London and a string of dud affairs; Jane, now in her forties, was Prudence's tutor at Oxford. Jane cheerfully concedes that she is an incompetent housewife, but she hopes that the move to a rural parish may transform her into a Trollopean vicar's wife, as well as a crafty matchmaker. There are many comic complications here, as Jane learns that matchmaking has as many pitfalls as does housewifery" - The New Yorker
©1953 Barbara Pym (P)2011 Hachette Digital
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Nakul on 30-06-12

A delight

The book is a delight, though a shame to have a number of plot points revealed in Jilly Cooper's introduction (less easy to skip in an audiobook). Not overfond of Maggie Mash's narration – she over-enunciates, and simply misunderstands the tone of a considerable portion of the dialogue.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Ann on 06-04-14

I gave up

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I have enjoyed many of Barbara Pym's books and was so looking forward to hearing this one. However I gave up after about 6 chapters as the narrator was so irritating when she read men's speech - so slowly and ponderously I almost thought she was joking. However, she wasn't. Sorry Maggie Mash - your ladies are fine but you have to speed up your men.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Speed up the men's speech

How could the performance have been better?

Speed up the men's speech

Was Jane and Prudence worth the listening time?


Any additional comments?


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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By lynley on 30-07-12

Understated hilarious comic writing

Where does Jane and Prudence rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Love Barabara Pym with whom we delight in the comic nature of the tiny things in our lives. The reader had just the right accent and collctions of voices for the characters but often spoke too slowly, so much so that you wondered if there was something wrong with these men. Apart from that, discover Barbara Pym.

What other book might you compare Jane and Prudence to and why?

Lightweight Jane Austen - a comedy of manners.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Maggie Mash?

While good, I found the slow speed of her narration of dialogue distracting.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Liz on 20-11-16

Dreadful narration

This is a very funny story, but is ruined by the narration. Her delivery is slow and over-emphatic, almost as if she were reading to people who are hard of hearing. This has the effect of erasing the subtlety of the writing.

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