Review 1621: Bewildering Cares

Camilla Lacely has been asked by a friend to tell her more about her life in a letter, so she decides to keep a diary for a week. Aside from daily entries, though, this diary reads more like a first-person narrative.

Camilla is the wife of a vicar running a household on very little money, attempting to attend numerous meetings every day, and trying to help parishioners so they don’t all bother her husband with concerns as silly as what the railroad schedule is. Her cares range from how to afford a new hat to how to provide dinner for an unexpected visit by the archdeacon to how to be more attentive to her religious thoughts and prayers.

This novel is touching and amusing, although I occasionally found it bewildering. As an unreligious American from another time, I didn’t always understand the references or jokes. Because of its focus on religion, I had more difficulty with it than with other novels from this period.

The novel does have a plot. It concerns the furor of the village residents when the unbending, self-righteous curate gives a sermon preaching pacifism. Since this novel takes place in the early days of World War II and many villagers have relatives in the war, this sermon causes an uproar.

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7 thoughts on “Review 1621: Bewildering Cares

  1. Izabel Brekilien February 26, 2021 / 11:57 am

    I bet it does ! I love that editor and all those books look oh so tempting…

    • whatmeread February 26, 2021 / 1:23 pm

      Yes, I’ve loved lots of them!

  2. Jane February 26, 2021 / 12:01 pm

    In our global village I think its fun when things turn up that we just don’t get, I get that sometimes with Anne Tyler books, although I can see how it would be bewildering!

    • whatmeread February 26, 2021 / 1:23 pm

      Yes, I still enjoyed it, though!

  3. Davida Chazan February 27, 2021 / 7:45 am

    Yeah… the religious bit might bother me as well. Lovely review, though.

    • whatmeread February 27, 2021 / 11:12 am

      It’s not so much that it’s religious as that it’s religious using terms and ideas I don’t understand.

  4. Liz Dexter February 27, 2021 / 1:06 pm

    “As an unreligious American from another time, I didn’t always understand the references or jokes.” – yes, I can imagine that’s a bit tricky as it’s so very very English and Church of England and assuming every reader gets the references. I’m glad you enjoyed it though – I read it a while ago and found it excellent.

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