Letty. Marcia. Norman. Edwin.
"Four people on the verge of retirement, each one of us living alone,
and without any close relatives near--that's us...(with) all the freedom
that loneliness brings..."
In the hands of any other author this novel would have been sad and depressing, but Barbara Pym's lyrical writing fills it with warmth and wit and hope. Of the four characters, I liked Letty best. Letty, who "had always been an unashamed reader of novels" and for whom love had never come. She works in the same office as Marcia, Norman, and Edwin (although you never know what it is that any of them actually do). They are colleagues, but not necessarily friends. Then Marcia and Letty retire, affecting all four of their lives in unexpected ways. Quartet in Autumn is a quiet, character-driven novel set in England in the 1970s. And I loved it. It made me feel a little sad, but it also made me smile. And it made me realize all over again just what an amazing writer Barbara Pym is. I think the last line of this thoughtful little novel sums it up best:
"But at least it made one realise that life still
held infinite possibilities for change."
P.S. Thank you, Liz, for passing this novel on to me...I really enjoyed reading it!