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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Liz
  • Adelaide, South Australia
  • 11-20-16

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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  • Story

Hard to stay awake

Unfortunately, I found it difficult to remember the characters and even more difficult to care. There didn't seem to be any plot development. I haven't managed to listen to the end.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • L
  • 09-03-12

Great book, poorly narrated

This is a lovely book, and if it the narration was up to the standard of the writing then this review would have been a 5 star. Maybe the reader thought that we readers would be too stupid to notice the subtleties of the story if she didn't telegraph them loud and clear. Whatever the reason for it, the emphasis of the reading was frequently all wrong, with quite mundane remarks being ridiculously over-dramatized. Too much playing to the gallery!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Nakul
  • 06-30-12

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Ann
  • 04-06-14

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?

No

Any additional comments?

No

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-31-11

More Please

A real joy to finally have some Barbara Pym here..if you've never read or listened to any of her books you are in for a real treat and if you have.. well you know already how good this is going to be. I'm keeping everything crossed that we get some more Pym...........please!!!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Choosy
  • 04-17-15

Awful narration spoils a wonderful book

What disappointed you about Jane and Prudence?

Not the story, which has been one of my favourite books for years, but ruined for me in this reading by the awful attempts by the narrator to play the characters. I found it impossible to lose myself in the story as Barbara Pym's subtle and deliciously funny writing became a world inhabited by automata whose clockwork was running down.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Jane and Prudence?

There weren't any for me in this reading.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Maggie Mash?

Juliet Stephenson or Lucy Scott.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The book is wonderful

Any additional comments?

Memo to self- avoid this narrator at all costs in future!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • E. A. K. O'Sullivan
  • 10-23-16

An excellent rendition overall.

A thoroughly enjoyable reading of this closely-observed comedy of manners, filled with what now seem old-fashioned characters, attitudes & expectations. A nostalgic study of mid-20th century, middle-class life & romance.
My one criticism would be that several characters speech is far too slow & ponderous even for the types & times portrayed. But as a great Pym fan, I still loved it! 🙂

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  • helen santos
  • 12-12-16

excellent

Barbara Pym is the modern Austin. You can't go wrong with any of her novels. a
A delicious read.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful