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So much fun, a true guilty pleasure I particularly recommend this if you are home in bed with a cold wearing a bed jacket and sipping tea from a Limoges cup. Paul Fotheringay is in despair He has just written a best selling novel The problem Everyone thinks his novel is so funny when it was meant to be tragic He is in search of a new book and hits upon the idea of publishing work about a 19th century ancestress of Lady Bobbin, permission for which Lady Bobbin has soundly refused Her irrepressible son Bobby finds a way to sneak Paul into Crompton Bobbin His sister, Philadelphia, is stuck in the country bored to death and longing for romance Sal Paul Fotheringay is in despair He has just written a best selling novel The problem Everyone thinks his novel is so funny when it was meant to be tragic He is in search of a new book and hits upon the idea of publishing work about a 19th century ancestress of Lady Bobbin, permission for which Lady Bobbin has soundly refused Her irrepressible son Bobby finds a way to sneak Paul into Crompton Bobbin His sister, Philadelphia, is stuck in the country bored to death and longing for romance Sally and Walter Montheath are new parents and poor and need a little break Luckily, their friend ex lady of the evening, Amabelle Fortescue, has invited all her friends to a Christmas gathering at her rented country home Mulberrie right near Crompton Bobbin The characters lives intersect and they interact with unpredictable and amusing results.This is a witty story about upper crust English men and women in the vein of Jane Austen The writing is not so sophisticated or smooth as dear Jane s nor does the story really speak to me or bear any relevance to my life I enjoyed it as amusing, mostly mindless fun The plot moves slowly it s not an action filled story and there are way too many characters to keep track of I kept forgetting who was who None of them were all that appealing The passages from Lady Maria s diary were a scream Paul s reaction to them is amusing from the perspective of the reader The main character, if there is one, is Paul Fotheringay, a depressed writer in search of inspiration He doesn t have much drive and is very passive He let a teenager plan his life for him I didn t care for his lack of backbone in dealing with a tricky situation The next most prominently featured character is Bobby Bobbin, Lady Bobbin s son home from Eton for the holidays He s crazy, irresponsible, selfish and massively irritating Every scene he s in he is trying to thwart his mother, as all teens try to Life is one big game to him He doesn t experience any character growth His sister Philadelphia is as dutiful and morose as Bobby is full of joie de vivre I don t blame her I think I would be depressed too if I had her life She s not very bright and has high expectations placed on her I liked how she thought she knew her own mind but didn t like how her story ended up Lady Bobbin is a disagreeable, eccentric tyrant She s awful to her children and not really interested in her neighbors except when they come to hunt With an outbreak of Hoof and Mouth disease, the hunting season is postponed There is also the recent troubles Great Depression which put a damper on how things should be done She s a terrible mother and completely out of touch with the world Amabelle is the matchmaker of the group Married three times already, she isn t interested in marriage herself but likes to see others happy She thinks she knows what s best for everyone She has some good insights into the characters personalities and marriage which I found interesting I don t know if I would agree with her Some of the views expressed in this book are outdated but not excessive The story is not as amusing as a P.G Wodehouse romp and the only thing Christmas about it is the time of year it takes place Fans of the English country house novel will enjoy this one I have recently bought all of Nancy Mitford s novels, and intend to read all eight Christmas Pudding 1932 follows on from Nancy Mitford s first novel Highland Fling 1931 Some of the same characters appear in both books I enjoyed the continuation, however Christmas Pudding works perfectly well as a stand alone novel In Christmas Pudding, which, despite the title, contains only a limited amount of Christmassy content, the usual array of colourful aristocratic characters converge in various I have recently bought all of Nancy Mitford s novels, and intend to read all eight Christmas Pudding 1932 follows on from Nancy Mitford s first novel Highland Fling 1931 Some of the same characters appear in both books I enjoyed the continuation, however Christmas Pudding works perfectly well as a stand alone novel In Christmas Pudding, which, despite the title, contains only a limited amount of Christmassy content, the usual array of colourful aristocratic characters converge in various settings The younger Bright Young Things displaying their usual mix of homespun philosophy, bored affectation, and commenting on each other s love lives, and other gossip, whilst the older generation do much the same whilst also despairing about the younger generation, declining standards and the dangers of Bolsheviks.When it s good it s wonderful At the outset there s a character called Paul Fotheringay who is dismayed by the acclaim for his book What he thinks is a serious work has been acclaimed as a comic masterpiece There are other very amusing moments in the book too, and all told it is a light, easy, short and amusing book As in Highland Fling, the book is best at bringing her various privileged characters vividly to life At times this feels like reportage What I think the book lacks is any commentary or contrast This is a hermetically sealed world where everyone is immune to the consequences of their actions, and the faceless domestic staff are there to smooth the way ahead At least with P.G Wodehouse the servants are given a voice, and also frequently used to highlight the idiosyncrasies and occasionally the stupidity of those above stairs The story is very much told from the centre of Nancy Mitford s world I am reliably informed that this changes as Nancy Mitford develops as an author, and there is a discernible change between her first four novels, and her second four novels I am looking forward to moving through her work and observing her development first hand Christmas Pudding is a better book that Highland Fling, and both are very enjoyable I laughedduring Christmas Pudding So, in summary, its another enjoyable and humorous early novel from Nancy Mitford.3 5 Clever and fun This is the first book I think, that I ve been exactly in sync with time wise So I read the chapter about Christmas day on that day, and the day afterwell, you get the picture It was sort of 3D reading, if there is such a thing It was a little game I had all by myself Silly me.Anyway, funny book It reminded me slightly of P.G Wodehouse slightly What was nice was that there were some really sharp comments thrown in every once in a while, for spice A sampling The trouble is,that p This is the first book I think, that I ve been exactly in sync with time wise So I read the chapter about Christmas day on that day, and the day afterwell, you get the picture It was sort of 3D reading, if there is such a thing It was a little game I had all by myself Silly me.Anyway, funny book It reminded me slightly of P.G Wodehouse slightly What was nice was that there were some really sharp comments thrown in every once in a while, for spice A sampling The trouble is,that people expect happiness in life I can t imagine why but they do They are unhappy before they marry, and they imagine to themselves that the reason of their unhappiness will be removed when they are married When it isn t they blame the other person, which is clearly absurd I believe that is what generally starts the trouble.It s a funny thing, that people are always quite willing to admit it if they ve no talent for drawing or music, whereas everyone imagines that they themselves are capable of true love, which is a talent like any other, only farrare I respect a person who can throw statements like that into the mix There s always an edge, and I like to see it acknowledged A bit rich.A gallery of silly, posh grotesques gather at Lady Bobbin s Gloucestershire pile for the festive season while just down the lane, ex courtesan Amabelle Fortescue has taken a country house for Christmas A borderline farce cum satire ensues but the whole thing is rather like an over rich pudding dreadfully dated. |READ KINDLE ⚑ Christmas Pudding ♰ Author Nancy Mitford transplants a group of confirmed Londoners to the Cotswolds and takes the reader for a romp through British society, both country and city, during the s and s If you ve ever wanted a country house mystery without the mystery part, this is a good book to read I was just in the mood for this sort of fluff Rather like Wodehouse without the constant self conscious attempts to be witty and amusing, this is the story of the course of true love or at least the quest for material and emotional security, which in upper class 1930s England, apparently amounted to the same thing Faint heart never won fair lady, and neither did indolent lounge lizard Unhappy If you ve ever wanted a country house mystery without the mystery part, this is a good book to read I was just in the mood for this sort of fluff Rather like Wodehouse without the constant self conscious attempts to be witty and amusing, this is the story of the course of true love or at least the quest for material and emotional security, which in upper class 1930s England, apparently amounted to the same thing Faint heart never won fair lady, and neither did indolent lounge lizard Unhappy Philadelphia Bobbin reminded me strongly of Jessica Mitford s description of her sister, unhappy Unity Valkyrie unfortunately Unity fell in love with a concept, not a person Her brother Bobby talks a bit too much like a gushing girl to pull off the smart aleck OE boy he is meant to be I enjoyed this muchthan I did Mitford s first novel Very atmospheric and rather truer to life than other satires of its day.Nothing changes at certain levels, even as everything else does You can t blame the publishers a famous name, a great title pretty it up with a lovely cover and endpapers by Emily Sutton and hey presto you have a seasonal seller.Without the author s name seasonal relevance this definitely would be mouldering away in the out of print heap.Mitford s second novel, it shows the young writer still struggling to find her voice The undigested influence of Evelyn Waugh, PG Wodehouse and EF Benson s Lucia novels is heavily apparent, minus these writers eleg You can t blame the publishers a famous name, a great title pretty it up with a lovely cover and endpapers by Emily Sutton and hey presto you have a seasonal seller.Without the author s name seasonal relevance this definitely would be mouldering away in the out of print heap.Mitford s second novel, it shows the young writer still struggling to find her voice The undigested influence of Evelyn Waugh, PG Wodehouse and EF Benson s Lucia novels is heavily apparent, minus these writers elegant styles, sharp plotting, and skewering satire I also detected some random elements of Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw rattling away in the mix.There are some excellent raw ingredients in the novel but Mitford doesn t follow through on the set up and her characterisation, even for this kind of social comedy where stock types are virtually obligatory, lacks definition Despite her personally impeccable aristocratic provenance I felt her observations of country house life seemed rehashed and derivative, not original The book sometimes raises a smile butoften is merely tedious Nothing spectacular, but quite amusing I d say this is for people who like Wodehouse and Thirkell I wanted something light and it was just the thing.