Aylwin is astonishingly good looking, and married. Much of the book concerns Dulcie’s curiosity about Aylwin’s 'unsuitable' marriage, as well as Aylwin’s interest in Dulcie’s pretty young niece who has come to London to do a secretarial course. When Viola moves into one of Dulcie’s spare rooms, the two women plot and conjecture, unable to leave the state of Aylwin’s marriage alone.
This creates some comical scenes when Dulcie and Viola decide to snoop - actually the are more like stalkers! They attend the church where Aylwin’s brother Neville is a priest. He is also ridiculously good looking which causes issues with female parishioners. The story builds up to a showdown at the seaside hotel run by old Mrs Forbes, Aylwin’s mother.
No Fond Return of Love describes the vanishing world of disappointed women running jumble sales for the organ fund or taking on the thankless task of preparing indexes for academics. The novel is peppered with entertaining minor characters but the true hero of the book is Pym’s witty prose which kept me chuckling as I turned the pages. If you can get over the silliness of the characters, Pym's novels are charming and very entertaining.
Posted by JAM
Catalogue link: No Fond Return of Love