Archive for November 17th, 2011

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Patricia Brent, Spinster

November 17, 2011

Here goes possibly the nicest of the reader recommendations from week before last. Thank you Mark; I am exceedingly grateful.

I tend not to deal well with characters who seem to go out of their way to mire themselves in difficulties, but Patricia Brent, Spinster — by Herbert George Jenkins — did it so charmingly that I can’t really bring myself to complain. The title character overhears some of the catty older women at her boarding house gossiping about her — and, incidentally, adding a few years to her age — and tries to get back at them by casually referring to a fiancé over dinner that night. She’s not ready for the questions they throw at her, and she ends up being a lot more specific about the fake fiancé than she intended. Like, to the point of making up a name, rank and regiment for him. This is sort of embarrassingly awkward, obviously, and then it gets worse. Patricia goes out to dinner the following night for a nonexistent date with the fictional Major Brown and some of her fellow boarders follow her, which, a) aren’t you glad you’re not friends with them? and b) things are now acutely, humiliatingly awkward. Read the rest of this entry ?