logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: all-the-vintage-ladies
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2020-01-04 17:45
Simply delightful
Miss Buncle's Book - D.E. Stevenson

I've read a few other D.E. Stevenson books, but this book takes the prize so far. No wonder it stands as one of Stevenson's most beloved books out of a lot of beloved books.

 

We start with our protagonist and heroine, Barbara Buncle, a spinster a bit past her prime, worried about making ends meet. Like many women of her time, she has slipped into genteel poverty. She's prohibited by custom from seeking gainful employment, her dividends have diminished to nearly nothing, and she isn't sure how she is going to make it through the winter, prices for things like heat and food are so dear in 1934. She needs to come up with a scheme to supplement her meager income. She contemplates chickens, but ultimately decides that she will write a book and sell it to make a tiny bit of extra money.

 

So she writes, although, as she explains, she has no imagination, so she has no choice but to write what she knows. And what she knows is her village of Silverstream, which she (barely) camouflages by calling it "Copperfield," and she knows the inhabitants of her village, whom she also (barely) camouflages by changing their names, so Dr. Walker becomes Dr. Rider, and Mrs. Bold becomes Mrs. Mildmay.

 

Fortunately (or unfortunately, as the case may be) Miss Buncle has an unerring eye for the human foible, and she gets deeply under the skin of the village inhabitants when the book becomes a runaway best seller. Mrs. Featherstone Hogg (aka Mrs. Horsley Down), a termagant who prides herself on her village status, gets a hold of the book and immediately recognizes the village, and herself, in its pages. Miss Buncle has published under a pseudonym, and the entire village is afire with trying to figure out who wrote the book. At the same time, the book seems to be having a queer effect on some of the villagers, and they start bursting out with interesting behavior all over the place.

 

There were several times that I laughed out loud as I was reading. D.E. Stevenson has written some lovely, lovely characters. Miss Buncle is a delight, as she, too, begins to act like her village counterpart, buying herself a new hat and a dress or two that swishes deliciously around her ankles, and generally gaining confidence and abandoning her repressed, spinsterish attitudes. She is astonished at how much money she has made, and is forced to make up a generous uncle to explain her sudden affluence. The youthful granddaughter of one of her neighbors, Sally Carter, is delightful and drawn with both kindness and affection. The doctor and his wife, Sarah, are wonderful. And the publisher, Mr. Abbott, is very funny.

 

There are several follow-ups to Miss Buncle's Book. The next in the series (spoiler alert) is Miss Buncle Married, which I have already ordered from Abe Books. I didn't buy the lovely Persephone copy because it was around $20.00, so I bought a recent Sourcebooks reprint for $3.99 (with free shipping). 

 

For this one, though, BrokenTune sent me her gorgeous Persephone edition. I've actually never owned one of the traditional dove grey Persephones - they are hard to get a hold of in the U.S. I do have a few of their "classic" editions, which have the printed cover, and they are nice, but the traditional Persephones are just a pleasure to handle and read. The cover is buttery smooth, the end papers are gorgeous, and the printed paper has such a nice feel. Even though they are expensive, I might sign up for one of their book of the month clubs. I will treasure this one, and I imagine that it will become a book that I reread often as a comfort read.

 

TL/DR: I loved this book. It was simply delightful.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2020-01-04 02:26
Reading progress update: I've read 129 out of 332 pages.
Miss Buncle's Book - D.E. Stevenson

Hahaha

 

This book is just delightful.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2020-01-01 23:40
First book of 2020!
Madam, Will You Talk? - Mary Stewart

This book was delightful. I really enjoyed Charity, the heroine, with her mad driving skills and complete lack of any instinct for self-preservation. David, the 13-year-old boy she befriends, was completely delightful. And the hero,

Richard,

(spoiler show)

was not nearly as appealing as Charity's dead husband, Johnny, but I didn't hate him either.

 

This was a twisty, fun, classic piece of romantic suspense set in the south of France in a post-WWII world. One of my favorite Mary Stewart's so far - and so much better than Touch Not the Cat!

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2019-04-10 22:24
Agathytes Buddy Read Reminder

If you haven't already acquired your copy of Crooked House, act now! Our Crooked House buddy read started in 9 days!

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2019-04-09 15:27
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 104 pages.
Murder on the Nile - Agatha Christie

Just a placeholder update - I think that today is our day to read, Themis? My copy came from amazon a couple of weeks ago. I am going to slip it into my purse and spend some time with it over my lunch hour.

 

I checked on audible, but wasn't able to locate any sort of a radio play of this one. Are you aware of anything?

 

I am really interested in how this one works without Poirot.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?