A Glass of Blessings begins and ends in one place, at the Anglo-Catholic church of St. Luke in the select West London neighborhood called Holland Park. As the novel opens on the feast day of St. Luke, Wilmet Forsyth notices her old acquaintance Piers Longridge at the church she has recently started attending. The story ends approximately a year later. Wilmet, now firmly established in the “charmed circle” of regular members, comes back with her fellow parishioners from seeing Father Marius Ransome instated as a suburban vicar and turns her thoughts and steps toward her husband, Rodney, in their new flat.
The time between these two events is a period of change and growth for Wilmet. As she is first seen, Wilmet is a privileged but idle woman. Beautiful, elegant, and perceptive, she is married to a good and successful man some years her senior. They have no children and live stylishly with his widowed mother. Apart from her war years in Italy, where she met Rodney, Wilmet has never done anything, largely because she has never needed to do anything. Now, after years of comfort, she has grown restive. Feeling the need to exert herself, Wilmet half deliberately and half accidentally enters into new experiences.
First is her growing involvement with the Church, that arena of choice for so many Pym heroines. Initially reserved, Wilmet gradually makes the acquaintance of the parishioners and their three clergymen: the epicurean rector amusingly named Father Thames, the more priestly if less courtly Father Bode, and Father Marius Ransome, a handsome newcomer in whom Wilmet takes a romantic interest which she vaguely sees as altruistic.
Besides taking Wilmet beyond the sphere of her household (both Rodney and Sibyl are agnostics), this...
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