An Unsuitable Attachment

Barbara Pym

13 October 2022
288 pages


Owing a debt to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Barbara Pym’s An Unsuitable Attachment is an elegant and witty comedy of manners from an acclaimed author who Philip Larkin called ‘the most underrated novelist of the century’.

‘I'm a huge fan of Barbara Pym’ – Richard Osman, author of The Thursday Murder Club

‘The day comes in the life of every single man living alone when he must give a dinner party.’

The parish of St Basil, on the fringes of North Kensington, is all of a flutter due to the arrival of Rupert Stonebird, a most eligible bachelor, in the neighbourhood. The local matchmakers are sure he will make a suitable husband for the vicar’s wife’s sister, Penny, or perhaps for local librarian Ianthe Broome?

But Ianthe is in danger of forming a most unsuitable attachment to her new library assistant, John, a man of questionable background with not a penny to his name . . .

‘Barbara Pym is one of my most favourite novelists. Few other writers have given me more laughter and more pleasure’ – Jilly Cooper, author of The Rutshire Chronicles

The most underrated novelist of the century . . . The subtlest of her books – the sparkle on first acquaintance has been succeeded by the deeper brilliance of established art
I'm a huge fan of Barbara Pym
[Pym] makes me smile, laugh out loud, consider my own foibles and fantasies, and, above all, suffer real regret when I reach the final page. Of how many authors can you honestly say that?