Book Review: Pigeon Pie

pigeonpie

This book starts with a message from Nancy:

It was written before Christmas 1939. Published on 6 May 1940 it was an early and unimportant casualty of the real war which was then beginning

Sophia Garfield is trapped in a loveless marriage and when the Phoney War begins she decides to take action and help the war effort by joining a first aid post.

After finding Wigs On The Green very disappointing I was hoping Pigeon Pie would contain more of the Nancy wit I so enjoyed in her first two novels. The satire does work but for me it misses the mark a bit.

I also felt this novel should have been called Wigs On the Green as this is the headline used in the novel when Sir Ivor King’s body is discovered on Kew Green.

The only character I felt any kind of attachment too was Sophia. You want her to break away from Luke and be with Rudolph. She is also brave when it comes to dealing with the spies who have kidnapped her dog knowing one wrong move they’d put her down the main drain.

I give this book 3/5

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Book Review: Wigs On The Green

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I can’t believe I’m writing this review. But I truly did not like this book!

I was so hopeful when I started it having loved the previous two books by Nancy but slowly I found myself really not liking it and by the time the pageant happen I was praying for it to end!

Jasper Aspect comes across as an annoying character and just gets worse throughout the book.

Noel Foster had a lot of potential. With the money he inherited he could have built a good life for himself instead his story ends the way it starts, in a dead end job with little prospect of being anything.

I also found the plot too political. Eugenia is clearly a thinly veiled version of Nancy’s sister Unity. There are also no mentions of my previously loved characters created by Nancy such as Albert or Jane.

I give this book 2/5

Book Review: Christmas Pudding

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After I finished Highland Fling my obvious choice to read next was Christmas Pudding.

Paul Fotheringay is a much misunderstand author who’s first book Crazy Capers is seen by the public as a funny book instead of the taking it seriously. He decides to give biography writing a go. I wondered if this was also Nancy going through the thought process of writing biographies herself.

Instead of making it easy for Paul to go and read the journals of Maria Bobbin he has to become the tutor of Roderick Bobbin. The excepts of the Lady Maria’s journal are wonderful to read and I found myself wishing she was real. I’ve even copied out her family tree from what I gleaned from the journal extracts.

Just like Highland Fling the writing is wonderfully witty. Scenes such as when they are discussing foot and mouth and Paul says he feels sorry for the cows. When asked which ones? The ones with feets and mouths. Then the wonderfully named children Christopher Robin and Wendy.

Christmas Pudding is most definitely meant to be read next as they do have shared ideas such as Victorian items coming back into fashion, people having their own era referred to as “my period”.

As you know I was devastated not to read in Highland Fling what became of Sally, Walter, Albert, Jane and the other people who stayed with them during Grouse season. So I was delighted to find them in Christmas Pudding! They may not have been the main characters (Albert and Jane a couple of lines reference to their marriage not working)

Nancy must have enjoyed writing about these people even more by not having to think of them as main protagonists all the time and work out how other people view their decisions and lifestyles.

Philadelphia’s engagement to Michael and Paul’s relief to this does work as the ending and you don’t feel left up in the air with the events of the book

I give Christmas Pudding 5/5

Book Review: Highland Fling

highland fling

After having read Nancy’s biography and deciding to read all her works, after having read The Sun King I brought a book of her complete novels.

Highland Fling was Nancy’s first novel which opens it up to criticism as people have searched for the “first novel mistakes”. Then there are the people who read Nancy’s fictional works looking for the relatives she inserted into them. I personally read it for what it was and didn’t search for her sisters or parents.

The novel starts by introducing using to Albert Memorial Gates, Walter Monteath and his soon to be wife Sally. The dialogue between these characters alone is witty and charming. You get a real insight into the era of Bright Young Things.

Walter and Sally agree to help her aunt and uncle out by hosting the grouse season at a castle in Scotland. This sets the book up for the other characters to meet and mingle. Albert comes along and meets Jane Dacre and they fall in love.

The artwork created by Albert and the fake funeral implies the excitement of being a young person in the 20s and 30s era where it must have felt endless possibilities hence to a post war attitude of seizing life by the teeth.

It’s only fault is the ending. It does not feel like a tying up of loose ends leading to a conclusion of their stories. I wanted to read about Jane and Albert marrying and The Monteath’s number increasing to three. Even knowing how Lady Prague deals with widowhood. I was feeling I needed to pick up my pen and continue these people’s lives.

I give Highland Fling 4/5 as the ending ruined my enjoyment of these Bright Young Thing’s

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