Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Miss Buncle Married by D.E. Stevenson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Not since my mom recommended the Miss Read series almost twenty years ago have I found an author that fits the bill so well when I'm in need of a gentle and humorous look at life. Author D.E. Stevenson was unknown to me until I picked up Miss Buncle's Book at the library, solely because I liked the cover art. How could I resist a stylish flapper with a book tucked under her arm? And while it turns out that Barbara Buncle may never have looked as svelte and stylish the the woman on the cover, her transformation from a small-town dowd to a smartly-dressed and commercially-successful author, makes for a charming tale of a shy woman finding her voice and her place in the world.
When people in the Barbara's village start acting just like their fictitious counterparts in her book, trouble ensues and the residents of Silverstream undertake to unmask the mysterious author, "John Smith," who has created an uproar in their quiet English hamlet.
One of the few people not disturbed by Miss Buncle's book is her publisher, Mr. Abbott.
"Miss Buncle's book intrigued Mr. Abbott, and Miss Buncle herself intrigued him. She was such a queer mixture of simplicity and subtlety (at least he thought she was). She spoke bad grammar and wrote good English. She was meticulously truthful in all she said (it was almost as if she were on oath to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth all day long and every day of the week). She lived her solitary life among all those people, with her tremendous secret locked up in her breast; going about among them looking as if butter wouldn't melt in her mouth, but taking careful note of all they said and did, and then going quietly home and writing it all down. They were after her now like a pack of hounds, but they didn't know that the fox was in the very midst of them, under their very noses, disguised as one of themselves—it was a piquant situation and Mr. Abbott fully appreciated it." (67)
Mr. Abbott moves from intrigue to romantic interest, and the rest you will have to read for yourself. I'm also getting a copy of this book for my mom, to return the favor of her recommending the Miss Read series.
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