Juliet Stevenson reads F M Mayor's unfairly Neglected Classic, the story of a plain, reliable parson's daughter whose life of duty and service is thrown into confusion by an unexpected and unsought love affair.
Today Mary's loyalty and love are betrayed yet again while a marriage matures.
The Reader is Juliet Stevenson
Abridger Sally Marmion
Producer Di Speirs
F M Mayor's masterful novel, The Rector's Daughter, is a rare thing - a novel with a deceptively small canvas, set in the backwaters of a dull East Anglia a century ago, but still as fresh as ever.
Much loved by those who have discovered it, it now comes to Radio 4 as one of the Open Book listeners' Neglected Classics.
With deft precision, F M Mayor captures the emotions stirring in Mary's heart and the pain of thwarted middle aged desire.
With her unerring eye, she reveals both the bitterness and strengths of a happy marriage.
The Rector's Daughter is acerbic and poignant and much deserves its loyal fans and its place within Radio 4's Neglected Classics season.