I really, really hate it when I read a book I read and adore turns out to be one that a number of people have frowned upon. One does so hate the frowny faces of the literary superior who fail to see the charm in a book and instead prefer to spread their frowny insults all over Amazon.
And so it was with The Awakening of Miss Prim. Though I do not like owning up to choosing a book based merely on its cover, I am in fact the kind of shallow sort oft to be choosing all manner of books by their cover and very rarely regretting my aesthetic whims. What I do not tend to do is read reviews before I read the book myself, for I fear my opinion would be tainted by the ringing voices of the frowny-faced, and that would never do.
Some would say, however that The Awakening of Miss Prim is rather asking for the diatribes of the frowny-faced: this book is a joke! one such frowner all but shouty-typed and this is apparently because it is a book with a meandering, gentle plot. A book that focuses on the small pleasures of life, with the real depth of its focus on the meaning of marriage and education somewhat disguised among the floral paragraphs of the kind of book both you and I cannot help but want to step into.
For if BrocanteHome was a village, it would be the little French one, Prudencia Prim finds herself in, in search of employment. Arriving with terribly modern, straight-laced feminist ideas of what marriage means and education should be, Prudencia soon finds those very ideas untangled by a cast of gorgeous, eccentrically lovely characters, who take it upon themselves to show her just what contentment can be if we are only willing to set aside our politics and prejudice and slow down to a pace of life where philosophical chatter over rose-sprinkled teacups is the order of the day, marriage is something that challenges the very depths of who we are, while at once making us more ourselves than ever before, and education can exist not to create the teeny robots our existing system churns out, but to truly expand our little one’s minds.
Sometimes when I am writing these book recommendations of mine, I write them not as reviews but as gifts I am so excited to give you. Though the book is a few years old now and I am sure many of you will have already befriended Miss Prim, for those of you who haven’t I simply cannot wait for you to open the first few pages and to fall into the welcoming arms of the village of San Irenio. For there you will find tiny delights and domestic joys. Literary references in abundance and so very much to think about..
I do believe you will love The Awakening of Miss Prim. No frowny-face required.