Tenth May, 1934. At this moment I look up and see the Man Who Lives Next Door standing on his doorstep watching my antics, and disapproving (I feel sure) of my flowered silk dressing gown. Probably his own wife wears one of red flannel, and most certainly has never been seen leaning out of the window in it - The Awful Carrying On of Those Army People - he is thinking.
Vivacious, young Hester Christie tries to run her home like clockwork, as would befit the wife of British Army officer, Tim Christie. However hard Mrs Tim strives for seamless living amidst the other army wives, she is always moving flat-out to remember groceries, rule lively children, side-step village gossip and placate her husband with bacon, eggs, toast and marmalade. Left alone for months at a time whilst her husband is with his regiment, Mrs Tim resolves to keep a diary of events large and small in her family life. Once pen is set to paper no affairs of the head or heart are overlooked.
When a move to a new regiment in Scotland uproots the Christie family, Mrs Tim is hurled into a whole new drama of dilemmas; from settling in with a new set whilst her husband is away, to disentangling a dear friend from an unsuitable match. Against the wild landscape of surging rivers, sheer rocks and rolling mists, who should stride into Mrs Tim's life one day but the dashing Major Morley, hell-bent on pursuit of our charming heroine. And Hester will soon find that life holds unexpected crossroads....
Mrs Tim of the Regiment is part of The Bloomsbury Group, a new library of books from the early 20th-century chosen by readers for readers.
©1934 The Estatre of D. E. Stevenson (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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"Comfort reading through and through"
Mrs. Tim and her diaries are among my favorite D.E. Stevenson novels. The narrator is gifted and the storyline is completely absorbing. Although I have read the hardback several times, I just finished my first "listen" through Audible and know that this was a wise purchase...I will listen again once or twice a year. I am just delighted to have this favorite novel in audio version. Well done!
"Life as a military wife"
First, this book was written 80 or so years ago. Listening to this book will take you to England and Scotland in the early 1930's, as the wife of an officer in the army. But, as you listen to the story you will find that in spite of the differences in details of daily life, human nature remains the same. Small children still delight and frustrate their parents. Organizing a holiday party for a number of families with children can be both joyful and embarrassing. Hunting for a house to rent and dealing with house agents is very frustrating indeed. Things don't turn out the way you expect.
I love the works of D. E. Stevenson, and this, her first successful novel is a delight.
The one warning I will give is that if you already own the D. E. Stevenson title Golden Days, which has been available from Audible for some time, the last half or so of this book will be a repeat. If you don't already own Golden Days you might not want to get both. But if you already own Golden Days, you will probably want to get this to discover the early adventures of Mrs. Tim.
Now, Audible, please make versions of the rest of this series available!! Mrs. Tim Carries On, about what happens to the family in WWII, followed by Mrs. Tim Gets a Job and Mrs. Tim Flies Home.
I listened to Christine Rendel's reading of this fluffy little novel and enjoyed it. I picked this novel as a mental break from anything challenging or intense, and I certainly got that. Lacking any real plot beyond "Mrs. Tim's" daily rhythm and routine, I had no idea when the book would end, or why--it's a bit like an Angela Thirkell novel, but less plot-driven and not as funny/satirical. Stevenson seems like a mid-ground Austen: her inclusion of the batty guest's drivel nearly inspired me to pull over and fast-forward, while Austen's Miss Bates has enough redeeming material in her monologues that I can stick with them.
One interesting aspect, however, was Stevenson's ability to show Tony's obvious devotion to Mrs. Tim while Mrs. Tim clearly had no clue. Also, the book's presentation of the whole idea of what "life in the regiment" was like between the wars was interesting.
Mild and pleasant.
I am so pleased to meet Mrs. Tim. A charming book that illuminates characters who have real lives while avoiding too much angst. I understand that this is based on the author's diary. It would be lovely to know her.
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