For those who have read and reread Austen, Trollope and Dickens, discovering a novel by Angela Thirkell is akin to finding gold in an abandoned mine. Long out of print, her novels are currently enjoying a minor renaissance. Before Lunch is a portrait of the charming English community of "Barsetshire," based on the author's own Yoknapatawpha County. When a newly built tea shop and garage threaten to spoil the bovine pastures of Pooker's Piece, Lady Bond and Lord Pomfret unite with the Middletons and the Stoners to stop it. In the meantime, the young and the not-so-young all fall in love-though not always with the right person-and sort out their affairs in a hilarious welter of cross-purposes.
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