Before Lunch

Middle aged Catherine Middleton, married to an obtuse but endearing older man, is the still center of a swirl of two generations of gentry on the brink of WW II The activities of youngsters and contemporaries go on around her and it is only gradually that one sees how, without conscious manipulation, nothing happens without her The characters are subtly and humorously drMiddle aged Catherine Middleton, married to an obtuse but endearing older man, is the still center of a swirl of two generations of gentry on the brink of WW II The activities of youngsters and contemporaries go on around her and it is only gradually that one sees how, without conscious manipulation, nothing happens without her The characters are subtly and humorously drawn keep an eye on the hypochondriac and self absorbed Miss Starter who displays a shrewd gift for defining the essentials and deflating the fatuous At the end, youngsters and oldsters are properly sorted out and paired off, mostly as expected, after several false starts Alistair, the older man who sets off after the ing nue is nudged back into place with Catherine s sister in law his contemporary She, in turn, sees her young man off to seek his dream, leaving her bereft of the companions of her mind and heart duty and honor intact, with the notion of self fulfillment at all costs decades away.
Before Lunch Middle aged Catherine Middleton married to an obtuse but endearing older man is the still center of a swirl of two generations of gentry on the brink of WW II The activities of youngsters and contem

  • Title: Before Lunch
  • Author: Angela Thirkell
  • ISBN: 9781559213226
  • Page: 154
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Before Lunch”

    1. A delightful read.Told with wit and charm.If you ever need cheering up this one is perfect.Who will end up with who I wonder?I loved it!

    2. 2.5My least favorite of the Thirkells I've read thus far, and indeed I found most of the book crushingly boring. It had some charm (I liked the youthful composer of modern music so good naturedly playing Gilbert and Sullivan to old Lord Bond by the hour), but really, so little happened, even by Thirkell's standards. Also, I was further disgruntled on coming on the to rate the book, to see that I inadvertently jumped two books ahead in the (admittedly, rather loose) series. This is not this book [...]

    3. Mrs. Stoner and her grown step-children, Denis and Daphne have come to spend the summer with Mrs. Stoner's brother, Mrs. Middleton. Mrs. Stoner and her sister-in-law, Catherine (Catherine Middleton!) soon become fast friends. Denis also befriends Mrs. Middleton, whom he believes to be long-suffering and also becomes close with Lord Bond, who IS long-suffering. Daphne makes new friends too: Mr. Cameron, the law partner of Mr. Middleton and C.W the son of Lord and Lady Bond. She soon makes herself [...]

    4. Yes. It is extraordinary how many things can happen before lunch.This book had/was:--> British charm--> witty dialogues--> wise, observant eye of Angela Thirkell--> smart and funny satire of British society living in countryside--> perfectly chosen and described characters--> unusual, original love stories (I mean, Mrs. Thirkell connected people who most writers wouldn't have connected).These (mentioned above) things you can find in her other books. In this one, they created an [...]

    5. FINALLY finished Before Lunch by Angela Thirkell. There were many reasons it took me so long. First was that I was listening to it on a platform (Hoopla) that made it difficult to just turn on whenever I wanted. Usually this would be on my walks (weather's been too cold) and in the car on my way to and from work. Secondly, the book did not keep my interest most of the way through. It is a little disconcerting to me how similar all 4 of the books I have read by her have been. The characters have [...]

    6. I'll admit up front that I sometimes complain about books that don't have enough going on. Most novels require a fair amount of plot, I think, and some are very lacking. I wouldn't make that complaint about a Thirkell novel, however. In her novels not much happens, slowly, with humor and insight and great delight.Take this book, for instance. The locals are upset about the proposed development of a certain plot of land, so they plan to protest. First they need to hold a meeting to organize the m [...]

    7. Angela Thirkell's pre-WW II novel explores the strange undercurrents that can exist between even the most civilized and reserved Britishers. Mr. Middleton, a loquacious architect who likes to imagine himself a country squire in the weekend, is having his widowed sister and her two stepchildren Daphne and Denis as renters in the neighboring house. Mr. Middleton's long-term business associate, Mr. Cameron, is a frequent guest. Before long, all of them are deeply involved in county business, especi [...]

    8. Not my favourite Thirkell, but still sweet and funny. I love Daphne and Cedric, Denis, Lilian, Cameron, even Lady Bond. But poor Catherine Middleton! (Never thought I'd ever write those words! ;))

    9. Mr. Middleton's sister Lilian Stonor and her stepchildren Daphne and Denis are coming to live next door for the summer.Daphne soon finds herself the object of attentions from two men. C.W. Bond is a neighbor, a young man with extremely suitable prospects in life and good family. Alister Cameron is a much older man who nonetheless finds himself completely taken by Daphne. Stepmother Lilian frets over the situation, certain that Alister is going to get his heart broken. The fact that he is actuall [...]

    10. Troppo carini questi romanzi della Thirkell, ambientati in deliziose contee inglesi, ricchi di personaggi eccentrici, pittoreschi, british fino sl midollo, vivaci e comiche schermaglie verbali, vicende amorose. Insomma letture godibilissime per chi ama calarsi in atmosfere tipicamente inglesi ed estraniarsi un po' dalla realtà

    11. One of the best, and saddest Angela Thirkell's. A bit of a midlife crisis, lots of stiff upper lip. And gentle humor. And that special brand of rather resigned love. This time the author goes just a bit deeper and perhaps reveals a little more about herself than in any other of her books.

    12. Not one of my favourites the first time I read it, but I appreciated it a very great deal on this reread, especially (view spoiler)[the quiet way in which Denis and Catherine's emotions were handled -- that they fell in love with each other and decided not to have a romance, and never really discussed it directly, just enough to be clear with themselves and each other. It was beautiful and satisfying, sad in the true way. I also liked how there was the one scene of Mr. Middleton turning to Cathe [...]

    13. * 1000 novels everyone must read: the definitive list: ComedySelected by the Guardian's Review team and a panel of expert judges, this list includes only novels – no memoirs, no short stories, no long poems – from any decade and in any language. Originally published in thematic supplements – love, crime, comedy, family and self, state of the nation, science fiction and fantasy, war and travel – they appear here for the first time.

    14. This one has a lot more of the love stuff (including calf love) and a little less story outside the love angles. It does contain the story of Lord Bond and Pooker's Piece, which is referred to (in passing) in several of the other books. I didn't enjoy it as much as some of the others, because a lot of the humor is based on tiresome people's foibles, rather than being inherently funny. It is still an entertaining book, as they all are!

    15. In the beginning, you make a mental list of all the single characters and figure out who should wind up with whom. Then you follow them through their schedule of social events, where they meet and mingle with a set of funny characters, waiting to see whether they are going to get engaged to the right person by the end of the book. Fun, fun, fun.

    16. Not my favourite of the series but still a fun and amusing comedy of manners and society in inter war England. There's the reappearance of a few old friends from previous Barsetshire novels as well as a few new ones. I particularly enjoyed the state of warfare between Lord and his butler and the complicated tangle of relationships between step-children and their relatives and relatives friends.

    17. I read this for my first ever book group and I did really enjoy it. It reminded me of Blandings by Wodehouse a little and the rural pre WW2 setting was like the Cazalets. It had romance, agricultural fairs and committee meetings, who could ask for more. I hope I like the next book at book group as much :)

    18. This was just a middling Thirkell novel for me. I loved the characters (as usual), and enjoyed seeing the return of many previous Thirkell characters, but something was lacking in the plot and story for me!

    19. if you're old fashioned, and need something reassuring to read in a stormy time, I recommend Angela Thirkell. Almost like heaven as described by the Talking Heads: nothing, nothing every happens. I love it.

    20. Not admitting their true feelings leads to confusion and anguish for young and old alike. Getting engaged to the wrong person could have been disastrous for the spirited Daphne, but all turns out right in the end.

    21. Probably the third time I've read this one. I read Thirkell to live in her world of High Risings, Winter Overcoates and Pomfret Madrigal. Her bullying Ladies and her sensitive loving long suffering wives. I see myself in all of them, well, except possibly Mr. Middleton, a huge bag of wind.

    22. Slightly more of a chore to get through than the previous instalments, but charming nonetheless. Unusually for these books it ends on a slightly sour note as well. Poor Mrs Middleton. Her suffering is equal to that of Charlotte Lucas I think.

    23. Really like Angela Thirkell and wish I could find more of her books. British country life without the murder mystery.

    24. This book was great fun! In the tradition of Cold Comfort Farm and many other great British satires it was full of farce, misadventure and falling for the wrong person.

    25. This is my favorite Angela Thirkell, among her 25 or so, all of which I have read at least twice.

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