Pym is only teasing the reader with her hints at genre fiction, however, and once I stopped waiting for a body to be found A Few Green Leaves rather grew on me. It is a delicate miniature, but it offers subtle comedy, with a nice turn in irony and some sharp insights, even if these are delivered so gently they are easy to miss. Pym's model is obviously Jane Austen ("3 or 4 Families in a Country village is the very thing to work on") and like her she fits a surprising amount into a limited canvas. But the world Pym describes is, unlike Austen's, fragile and in flux: the manor is no longer occupied, new bungalows have been built, and the outside world unavoidably intrudes.
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