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. Full of Miss Read's unique, acerbic wit, and wry observations, Village School is an intriguing glimpse into a forgotten world, and has become a true classic.
I ejoyed the book, but I did not enjoy this narrator as much as other narrators of the Miss Read books. I find the books fascinating because they hark back to a time that probably never was but we would all like to imagine. It is slightly irritating that some of the characters age in the normal way throughout the course of the books while others seem stuck in time and hardly age at all. Revisiting one of the early books has reminded me that poor Joseph Coggs was stuck at the village school for the entirety of Miss Reads headship and on her retirement he was only about nine years of age. Mrs Pringle was clearly older than Miss Read in the early books but she is still working at the school and apparently reasonably sprightly when Miss Read retires! As long as you're not overly troubled by these confusing tricks of time the books are lovely, a very gentle antidote to real life.
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