2007: 33. Mapp and Lucia

“Though it was nearly a year since her husband’s death, Emmeline Lucas (universally known to her friends as Lucia) still wore the deepest and most uncompromising mourning.  Black certainly suited her very well, but that had nothing to do with this continued use of it, whatever anybody said.”

Mapp and Lucia, E. F. Benson

Now the Make Way for Lucia series really gets going.  The book opens with Lucia a widow, just emerging from a long year of mourning.  After a delicious bit where she battles for control of Risenholm and a bit where her dear friend Georgie is petrified that he will now have to propose, Lucia and Georgie decide that they need a change of air, and rent homes for the summer in Tilling.  There, of course, they meet Miss Mapp, and the battle begins.  Lucia and Miss Mapp are born enemies, and as the Penguin website puts it, “there is no plan too devious, no plot too cunning, no depths to which they would not sink, in order to win the battle for social supremacy...”  The joy for the reader (and for the people living in town) is watching them duke it out.  Too too funny, particularly the end, which I would never give away, but I thought was the best thing I have yet read in this series.  

There is a BBC television version of this series that was released in the 1980’s.  There are two more books in the series that I need to read (and I’ll have to find a copy of one somewhere, since I don’t have the last book yet), but once I am done I am going to seek that out ASAP.  I can only imagine how funny Mapp and Lucia will be in person.

Recommended for: Everyone, but particularly people who want to see two masters go at it in hand to hand combat of the most subtle kind.

Date/Place Completed: 3/18/07, D.C.

Categories: Fiction

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017