Wilmet Forsyth lives with her husband and mother-in-law in a fashionable part of London. Wilmet doesn't have a job, which is fine because she doesn't want one. She also doesn't have children, which is fine because she doesn't want them. However, sometimes she wishes she had either a job or children so that people would not wonder how she fills her life.
Wilmet and her husband fell in love in Italy during the war and married, but lately, Wilmet doesn't feel that they have much in common. When her best friend's husband and brother both start displaying interest in her, she gets excited in a way she hasn't for quite a while and starts going on excursions without her husband's knowledge. She also becomes more and more involved in her church and gets to know the many people there over the course of the story.
The great thing about this book is very similar to the great thing about Excellent Women. Both of them are so realistic and human in their portrayal of of people's lives that it is hard not to get drawn in and invested in the story. I had a conversation with one of my best friends once when she got engaged. And she said something to the effect of, even though she is in love and doesn't want to be with anyone else, that doesn't mean she won't ever be attracted to someone else and maybe flirt a bit.
And that's really so much of what this book is about. Wilmet loves her husband, but she misses the thrill of feeling wanted, and dating, and going out, and meeting new people. Really, A Glass of Blessings is about exploring those paths that we did not take, and coming to terms with the life we have chosen. Nothing earth-shattering happens to Wilmet or her friends, but nothing earth-shattering happens to most people, and all of us manage to make it through life with a hearty dose of good memories to balance out the regrets.
I think this is one of those books (and Pym is one of those authors) that will appeal greatly to some people and others will wonder what the fuss is all about. It's a quiet book of getting through life and making the best of what you have, which is a good lesson for all of us to learn, really.
Visit Open Road Media's Barbara Pym page for more information on the author and her books.
Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book to review.