Miss Hannah Pym, middle-aged spinster and housekeeper, longs for adventure, though she's attained the pinnacle of a servant's career, running the household of Thornton Hall for her melancholy employer, Mr. Clarence. Thornton Hall has not been the most cheerful abode, however, since Mrs. Clarence ran off with a footman, and when Mr. Clarence dies, Miss Pym wonders what will become of her--until she learns that her late employer has left her a legacy of five thousand pounds! It takes little persuasion from Mr. Clarence's distinguished brother, Sir George, for Hannah to fulfill a secret dream. Taking to the roads of England on the perilous and uncomfortable stagecoaches known in 1800 as "Flying Machines," Miss Pym will encounter all manner of men and maids--and her inquisitive personality and kind heart will lead her to become "The Traveling Matchmaker." Miss Pym's wish for adventure is fulfilled almost immediately on her first wintry journey aboard the Exeter Fly. Accosted by a highwayman, then overturned in the snow, Miss Pym and her shaken fellow passengers repair to the nearest inn to wait out a vicious snowstorm--giving Miss Pym ample time to get to know her fellow travelers, including one pretty young gentleman who is not quite what "he" seems. "He" is, in fact, Miss Emily Freemantle, a Young Lady of Quality fleeing an unwanted marriage--with Lord Ranger Harley, another passenger. Pursuing Miss Freemantle to bring her back to her doting parents, Lord Harley soon finds--with some gentle hints from Miss Pym--that he may be pursuing something else. In her element in the absence of servants, Miss Pym marshals her fellow passengers and puts them to work cooking and cleaning, just as she herself goes to work untangling and retying the romantic knots that bind them.
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I loved that this book was clean and didn't give me any cause to either blush or skip/fast forward while listening to it. I was surprised, but pleased by how Ms Beaton was able to convey all the emotions of the characters without adding in any content that I would be uncomfortable reading about.
Helen Lisanti was an absolute gem with her reading of Miss Hannah Pym. Her narration was one of the best things about the book because she so perfectly read the character. (Posted on October 8, 2012)
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Definitely yes