Angela Thirkell seems to have been writing one book a year for quite a long time and by popular demand but this is the first time I’ve ever read two back to back in quick succession. It was just fortuitous that I could do it because it turned out that Never Too Late is a sequel to Enter Sir Robert which did end with quite a lot of ends hanging loosely.
So in Never Too Late we find out what happens to The Manor House, which had been used for some years as a bank, but was again in need of a new tenant. The inhabitants of the Wiple Terrace cottages appear, with their many bottles of booze. A lot of the not so young men of the county who had been involved in World War 2 and have bonded over their experiences in France come to the realisation that they should have got married a few years before, and Edith is probably too young for them. Even Mr Choyce, the vicar is on the look out for a suitable lady wife.
Captain Fairweather and his wilfully stupid wife, Rose Birkett as was, also turn up and it turns out that Rose has a wonderful social memory and can remember everyone she has ever met, which has been an immense help to her husband in his career, I knew she’d have to be useful for something!
Sir Robert hangs over the place like a shadow which never reaches human form, well almost never. Lord Stoke has his suspicions I think, as do I, but Agnes is happily oblivious to any blots in her marital life.
In amongst all this is the usual social observation and wit which you expect from a visit to Barsetshire and as there’s quite a lot of Mrs Morland too, it was a very enjoyable read.