This is a novel in diary form from a middle class woman in her late 30s or early 40s in a local social scene. The novel is from the early 1930s, and marks this primarily through the book club selections of our narrator’s social scene and a relatively cursory interest in UK politics (blandly arguing about the prime minister).
It’s novel that doesn’t have a lot of plot or conflict, but is both really insightful and incisive of middle-class life, but is also really funny too. This book became a best selling series and one of the through lines of the whole novel is whether anything of importance can be achieved through diary entries.
Beyond how funny this book is, what I found really appealing about it is how familiar so many of the sniping pettiness of the narrator and her friends is still today. There’s some content and timely issues that are less relevant today, but for the most part, this book really feels like it holds up. It’s incredibly readable and warm in its humor, and while some of the moments of the book are petty, over all it’s relatively harmless. It also brings up the fact that this book sorta predates the horrors of the world depression and definitely the second world war which makes it feel both a little anachronistic in terms of the UK, but more fitting with post-war United States. Perhaps the welfare state killed off a lot of these concerns, but this has that feel of a time capsule.