The Awakening of Miss Prim

The Awakening of Miss Prim

Book - 2014 | First Atria Books trade paperback edition.
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"Prudencia Prim is a young woman of intelligence and achievement, with a deep knowledge of literature and several letters after her name. But when she accepts the post of private librarian in the village of San Ireneo de Arnois, she is unprepared for what she encounters there. Her employer, a book-loving intellectual, is dashing yet contrarian, always ready with a critique of her cherished Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott. The neighbors, too, are capable of charm and eccentricity in equal measure, determined as they are to preserve their singular little community from the modern world outside."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Atria Paperback, 2014.
Edition: First Atria Books trade paperback edition.
ISBN: 9781476734248
Characteristics: 258 pages ; 22 cm


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Mar 03, 2019


May 04, 2018

Like any fundamentally sensible person, Prudencia Prim does not much care for the modern world. It is too ugly, too noisy, too superficial - greedy, stupid and tasteless. She prefers the quiet, well-ordered harmony of a good library to the hustle and bustle of an office or even a classroom. Thus, she applies for a job putting into order the library of a gentleman living a retired life in the village of San Ireneo de Arnois, even though she has a PhD in sociology and the advertisement explicitly states "Graduates and postgraduates need not apply." Then there are the children - Prudencia doesn't much care for them, and the gentleman, although a bachelor, is raising a number of nephews and nieces. And there are the dogs, for although of course Prudencia loves animals, she prefers them in the abstract. Children and animals, after all, tend to destroy peace and quiet. But Prudencia is about to learn that beauty and harmony are not things she makes to fit herself, but rather things she must fit herself to.

The Awakening of Miss Prim is a curiously undramatic novel. The plot develops gradually, organically, in a manner that beautifully reflects the themes of the novel.

Jul 31, 2017

I loved this book - if you take the time to look up all the references to philosophy and history it is quite an education too!

Aug 09, 2016

As a classically educating mother of seven, I LOVED this book just for the historical references! Winsome and delightful. No garbage, deep thoughts, challenging ideas. It's her first novel?! She can flush out characters more deeply in her next novel. Can I just bake and read to my children from the classics? Yes. Yes I can.

Jun 24, 2015

I read this as part of a book club I belong to, but I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I wanted to. It had all of the elements that normally appeal to me, and so many interesting details, but I felt the characters seemed flat and impersonal. I was reading about them, but not sharing in their journey. It really annoyed me that the main love interest didn’t have a name - he was and remained the Man in the Wing Back Chair; just some impersonal object far removed and closed off from all access, and this did not sit well with me. Miss Prim described her mother’s most abominable flaw, and then behaved exactly like her; I’m not sure if that was on purpose by the author or not. I almost wonder if this book were translated or in the author’s second language? It had good grammar and flow, it just didn’t resonate with me.

punchytree Feb 27, 2015

I had high hopes for this one (main character is a librarian - I could not resist), but it was a let down. The characters and setting had such promise, but it never went anywhere. The author focused too much on trying to have witty, pretty language that the depth needed to get her point across was never achieved. Too bad!

samdog123 Jan 28, 2015

This book is an attempt at writing a whimsical 'comedy of manners' set in the fictional village of San Ireneo de Arnois. I found all the characters were undeveloped and didn't like when the main character, Prudencia Prim, called her boss and main love interest, 'the man in the wing chair' all throughout the book. Not my favourite but if you like stories similar to this, you might enjoy it.

Sep 08, 2014

What a delightful book!


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