13 Jan 2010 – from Aluvalibri from the LibraryThing Virago Group

A kind Christmas present and an absorbing, quiet read.  We follow the rather dim fortunes of Arnold Nettle, who comes to a village to work in the Post Office and to try to improve his health.  He lodges with one family and befriends another, yearns for one of the daughters of the other family while being nonplussed by the teenage daughter of the landlady.  The seasons, as autumn deepens into winter and winter recedes and allows thoughts of spring, are absolutely beautifully observed, as is the claustrophobia and boredom of life in a house in a fairly isolated village.  A bright spot comes in the form of Pauline, the wayward teenager, who doesn’t care what people thing of her, runs after men and makes a nuisance of herself.   Hugely atmospheric and much enjoyed.