Fairacre is a village of cottages, a church and the school - and, at the heart of the school, its head mistress Miss Read. Through her discerning eye, we meet the villagers of Fairacre and see their trials and tribulations, from the irascible school cleaner Mrs Pringle, to the young school children, with their scraped knees, hopeful faces and inevitable mischief.
Mrs Pringle, the lugubrious school cleaner, has always been a favourite character in the Fairacre series. Here we trace Maud Pringle's life from childhood visits to the village from her Caxley home.
The first charming Caxley tale introduces the deep-rooted camaraderie between Septimus Howard, a calm and controlled man, and Bender North, a confident, successful but gruff ironmonger. Their argumentative sides often clash, displaying moments of fury and forgiveness with wonderful tenderness. Theirs is a friendship that survives misunderstandings, the tragedy of war, and the bitterness of loss. The story of their families continues through the generations. Read by June Barrie.
"A Typical Miss Read"
From organising the school summer fete - 'Because of our inability to recognise our climatic shortcomings from the outset, arrangements for outdoor jollities get completely out of hand' - to the sometimes rather odd passions of childhood - 'I collect stones with holes in them' - Miss Read captures the essence of rural life, and in particular of village schools, as only she can.
The Howards of Caxley begins on a fine May morning in the fateful year of 1939, and then follows the path of the two families and the little town through the Second World War, towards hope for happier times ahead.
The village of Chilbury in Kent is about to ring in some changes. This is a delightful novel of wartime gumption and village spirit that will make your heart sing out. Kent, 1940. The women of Chilbury village have taken umbrage at the Vicar's closure of the choir now that its male singers are at war. But when spirited music professor Primrose Trent arrives, it prompts the creation of an all-female singing group.
Illegal battering of gingernuts and conkers in a murky corner of the playground; a procession of bearers of lost property interrupting the telling of the story of Joseph; justice being firmly done on three malefactors who stole Mr Henry's eggs... Here are 40 delightful stories about life as a village schoolteacher, set against the changing seasons of the countryside.
Anna Lacey had spent most of her 20 years on her Essex farm. Her doting parents, rural friends and country childhood had not prepared her for the shock of relocation to a raw new neighbourhood for her first year as a teacher. But Anna was gifted with the abilities to make friends and to learn as she taught.
It is 1936, and Lord Peter Wimsey has returned from his honeymoon to set up home with his cherished new wife, the novelist Harriet Vane. As they become part of fashionable London society, they encounter the glamorous socialite Rosamund Harwell and her wealthy impresario husband, Laurence. Unlike the Wimseys they are not in love - and all too soon, one of them is dead. A murder case that only Lord Peter Wimsey can solve.
At home alone for the holidays, Agatha Raisin decides to host a dinner party for the elder residents in her Cotswold village of Winter Parva. Agatha's never been much of a homemaker, but she's dead set on making this the perfect holiday for the 'crumblies', as she affectionately calls them. She's decorated a tree while fending off her cats, Hodge and Boswell, and even made a (lumpy) Christmas pudding in between swigs of rum.
"Funny and enjoyable."
Those who have come to love Miss Read's delightfully humorous novels of country life will be enraptured by these two autobiographical volumes, affectionate and unashamedly nostalgic accounts of her childhood. In A Fortunate Grandchild, Miss Read draws on her gentle and colourful memories of Grandma Read in Lewisham and Grandma Shafe in Walton-on-the-Naze, and their rambling, flock-wallpapered houses full of nooks and forbidden adult mysteries, which provided young Dora with a bedrock of security in the uncertain days of the Great War.
The inspiration for the BBC series of the same name. Fresh out of Glasgow Veterinary College, to the young James Herriot 1930s Yorkshire seems to offer an idyllic pocket of rural life in a rapidly changing world. But from his erratic new colleagues, brothers Siegfried and Tristan Farnon, to incomprehensible farmers, herds of semiferal cattle, a pig called Nugent and an overweight Pekingese called Tricki Woo, James find he is on a learning curve as steep as the hills around him.
"Great story and narrator - terrible sound quality"
For Mrs Pargeter, it is a matter of principle that she should complete any of her late husband's unfinished business. Amongst his many bequests, perhaps the most valuable is his little black book, in which he listed all the people who ever worked for him, with details of their particular skill sets. This means that whenever Mrs P has a crime to solve, she can readily contact someone with the relevant expertise.
"Fun story, interesting new angle on a mystery"
When Cedric Charlton, an unsuspecting tax inspector, arrives at the door of the Pop Larkin farm, he soon forgets the purpose of his visit: The fun-loving Ma and Pop Larkin distract him at every turn with strawberries, cream, alcohol, and their attractive young daughter, Mariette. Well known by the popular TV series starring David Jason and Catherine Zeta-Jones, The Darling Buds of May is the quintessential feel-good country romp.
"A darling of a book!"
Little Women, set in the 19th century follows the lives of four sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March as they live, learn, love, and grow as young pilgrims and blossom into fine little women. Based on the author's childhood, Little Women is one of the most beloved stories in American literature. It continues to touch listeners both young and old. Alcott takes you on a prolific journey which will make your heart swell, your soul laugh, and your heart ache as we experience the lives of the March sisters as they endure their lessons, scrapes, castles in the air, their romances, and more.
"clearly a classic and very nicely done"
With all of the pluck and charm of its eponymous young hero, Rachel McAdams (The Notebook, Spotlight, Midnight in Paris) delivers a spectacular reading of Montgomery's beloved bildungsroman. In moments both funny and bittersweet, McAdams' voice is imbued with the spark that has made Anne a much-loved symbol of individualism and cheer for over a century.
"Beautifully narrated and such a wonderful story"
When she's not digging up bones or other ancient objects, Ruth Galloway lectures at the University of North Norfolk. She lives happily alone in a remote place called Saltmarsh overlooking the North Sea and, for company; she has her cats Flint and Sparky, and Radio 4. When a child's bones are found in the marshes near an ancient site that Ruth worked on ten years earlier, Ruth is asked to date them.
"enjoyable crime hokum."
Amateur detective Lord Peter Wimsey sets out to unravel a puzzling case involving the disappearance of a wealthy financier and the discovery of a corpse in a bathtub. He does succeed in solving things to everyone's ultimate satisfaction, but only after a series of bloodcurdling and hair-raising episodes that will hold the listener spellbound with anticipation.
"totally inappropriate narration"
©2009 Mrs D J Saint
"Joyfull catching up with the secrets of the villag"
homely , country, funny
another one of the series of these homely books reminiscent of a different era
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