Monday, May 28, 2018

Two more "Miss Read" books

Over the Gate
The Market Square, by Miss Read

These Miss Read novels are just like bon-bons for me.  They're light, but not at all sentimental, and they chronicle English village life with both affection and astringency.  There are two or three series, all set in the same fictional area, but some are about the villages of Fairacre or Thrush Green, and some are about the market town of Caxley.

Over the Gate must be one of the later Fairacre books, as it features the teacher narrator doing relatively little.  Her plot is slight, but serves to string together entertaining stories from Fairacre history, from "Mrs Next-Door" to a magic salve and a truly shivery ghost story.  Reminded me of some of L. M. Montgomery's later Anne novels.

The Market Square is set in Caxley and chronicles the intertwined lives of two men and their families -- Sep Howard, the quiet and almost timid baker, and Bender North, a boisterous ironmonger.  We follow them for many years, from Edward VII's coronation through the 1930s.  I really liked it.

Now if only I could live in an English village....
 

2 comments:

Marian H said...

My mom read these many years ago and enjoyed them. Thanks for the reminder!

Joy Weese Moll said...

It is one of a reader's little pleasures to get to live vicariously in an English village through books.