Sunday, December 23, 2007

Village School

Finished Village School by Miss Read. Such a charming book. Set in a rural English village in the 1950s, the story is told by the teacher and headmistress Miss Read. Life in the village of Fairacre is full of superstition, gossip and colorful characters. Her descriptions of the disappointments and triumphs of her pupils are genuine and drawn from the author's own teaching experience. My favorite moment is on Sports Day. The children are all lined up for a three legged race, the spectators are standing by the sidelines. A goat, excited by the commotion breaks through a fence, wanders to the sidelines and begins to ingest the back of the vicar's wife's skirt while she is intent on the race. I guess it's silly, but things like this make me laugh out loud.

Miss Read is the pseudonym of Jesse Dora Saint who wrote several series of this sort. She was an inspiration to Jan Karon, author of The Mitford Series which I enjoy so much. Village School is the first book in a series. I look forward to reading many more.

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