There's silly Mrs Greensleeves
'She was a pretty woman and she liked pretty things. The pink satin quilt, the frilled pillows with their pink silk bows, the breakfast tray with its white cloth and pink china were carefully chosen. Mrs Greensleeves liked to think they expressed her personality, and perhaps they did. Nobody saw her in bed except her maid... but the mirror was adjusted so that she could see herself and she enjoyed the picture.'
The vicar - trying to live just off his stipend however....
'Ernest... had never been poor, and he was not really poor now. This poverty of his... was merely a sort of a game. Sometimes it was a troublesome, worrying sort of game, but there was nothing bitter, and real, and grinding about it.'
Our eponymous heroine Barbara Buncle.
'Barbara got up and had a hot bath. Her new garments had arrived... and Barbara decided to wear one of her new frocks this afternoon. A bath seemed a fitting preliminary to the donning of the slinky, soft wine-coloured creation which lay curled up in its neat brown box all padded out with rustling tissue paper.
When she had bathed, and dressed, and finished doing her hair, Barbara slipped the frock very carefully over her head and turned to look at herself in the long mirror... She was quite startled at the change in her appearance - it was Elizabeth Wade who looked back at her from the quicksilver depths of the mirror (not Barbara Buncle at all).'
A gentle book yet on reflection a whole lot more than meets the eye.