Sunday, February 5, 2012

Book Passage/A Palm For Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman

Dorothy Edith Gilman (June 25, 1923 – February 2, 2012)

Mrs. Pollifax is speaking to a young woman:
What you need, I think is a little bit of Zen. … tremendously refreshing. There's a great deal to be said for letting things happen.

The young woman asks,
Without control?

Mrs. Pollifax:
That's it, you see, without control.

The young woman responds,
But - but that's frightening.

Mrs. Pollifax laughed,
On the contrary, it's much less painful than fighting every step of the way, and so much more delightful than trying to arrange life like a table setting, which one can never do anyway. Really, it's quite exciting to see what will happen next.

To which the younger woman asks,
At your age there are still surprises?

Mrs. Pollifax beamed at her forgivingly.
Frequently I can assure you, some pleasant and a few not at all pleasant, but of course one can't have the one without the other. It's impossible.

A Palm For Mrs. Pollifax - 1973
Dorothy Gilman


  1. The Mrs P. books are full of such wisdom, Pamela, along with humor and suspense.

  2. I really enjoy Mrs. Pollifax, Nan, though I tend to "read" her on audio books. She often keeps me company when I'm on the road, heading up to MN to see our daughter and her little family.

  3. What a talented writer she was! I'm sorry to hear that she's gone, but it sounds like she lived a good life. Mrs. Pollifax is one of my favorite characters ever.

  4. I so enjoyed Mrs. Pollifax! If Gilman was anything like her creation, she would have been a joy to know.

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Penny, I listened to all of them on Recorded Books read by the wonderful Barbara Rosenblat! She WAS Mrs P. to me!!

    Kay, we have shared our love for her for a long time, haven't we.

    Cait, thanks.

    Debbie, I'm not surprised that you are a fan of Mrs P!

  6. Oh, how so very true!! What a fitting tribute to her!

  7. Oh, dear. I just realized that Dorothy Gilman has passed on. I didn't notice when I first read this. She certainly left a wonderful character in Mrs. Pollifax.

  8. Again, this is the first time I hear about this author and her work through your blog, as with many other authors and books. Thank you for giving me new "food" so regularly!

  9. Thanks, Staci. I've had these words in a quote book for a long time, and I find them very meaningful.

    Penny, yes, she did.

    Librarian, thank you for the nice words!

  10. Lovely! Such wisdom! I need to get these books on audio. I love Barbara Rosenblat.

  11. Les, I think her readings of the Mrs Pollifax series, and the Amelia Peabody series are perfection.

  12. How true are Mrs P's words - if you don't have the unpleasant surprises occasionally then you can't really appreciate the really nice ones. Didn't know that the books are on audio - or maybe that's just in the US, I shall check.v

  13. Rowan, these are such great books.

  14. Ernestine, you would love this series. Here is the order:

  15. I'm sorry to hear of her passing, I've loved her books and re-read them many times. One of my favourites is Caravan...not a Mrs Pollifax, although I've loved all of those as well....she was a gifted writer.

    on another note, sorry for my lack of commenting, just back from the tropics :).....sigh,
    have a great day

  16. Gee, Niki, I can't imagine why you haven't been reading blogs in the tropics. :<) Welcome, home!


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