by Barbara Pym
Grade: C - 14 and up (for mature themes)
Jane and Prudence is the story of two friends. Jane, the older of the two, is settled as the wife of a clergyman. Prudence, at 29, is a working girl with many failed romances. They spent time together, bringing eachother support and comfort, remembering their days at Oxford, talking about poetry, and trying to find a husband for Prudence.
This book had many of the same characters and the same setting as Crampton Hodnet. The story and characters were just as witty and real, however, I found it didn't have so many of the great little asides and observations as Crampton Hodnet, and the ending left me a bit unsatisfied. I could so relate to one of the main characters, Jane. She is a clegymans wife who was a literary major in college, wrote a book about 17th century poetry, and had no idea how to deal with a household, cooking, cleaning, etc. She felt herself a failure in her position and of no support to her husband's calling. I think that Miss Pym may be showing one of the first generations of this problem that we still see today; women's focus being on education, and then finding themselves thrust back into the traditional womens role with no skills and no idea of what they are doing