This image is the cover for the book Close Quarters, The Barsetshire Novels

Close Quarters, The Barsetshire Novels

A widow goes house-hunting in Barsetshire in this witty, moving novel by an author of “graceful stories of upper-class English life” (The New York Times).

One rainy summer, amid the social and cultural changes of postwar England, Mrs. Macfadyen wrestles with the loss of her beloved husband after just five years of happiness. Life has left her uprooted—but where can she replant herself? The hunt for a new house (preferably not too close to her mother’s) will involve everyone from friends and neighbors to an old suitor and the local clergy, but ultimately the decision—and her future—is up to her . . .

Recreating Anthony Trollope’s fictional county and bringing it into the mid-twentieth century, Angela Thirkell tells a tale filled with heartache, humor, and sharp social observation.

“It is in [Mrs. Macfadyen’s] fitful remembrance, quiet loneliness and gentle acceptance, that one realizes her author’s sense of the poetry in life, and her sympathetic ear for the nuances of pain.” —The New York Times

Angela Thirkell

Angela Thirkell (1890–1961) was a British author whose ability to produce one book a year, every year, and set in that year blurred the lines between novelist and social historian. Like so many of the writers that she admired—Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, George Eliot—Thirkell shared their X-ray vision: an unmatched ability to assess the hypocrisies, desires, and prejudices of her characters and, better still, play them for laughs. Her biggest literary project, the Barsetshire Chronicles, consists of twenty-nine novels, each acting as another slice of English country life; a utopian vision of bucolic countryside, grand manors, and village fêtes.

Open Road Media