Wednesday, July 07, 2010

A-Z Wednesday: "V"

A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicki at Reading At The Beach. To join in, just visit her blog for the guidelines and leave your link in a comment.

This week's letter is "V." So I went to my shelves, and this is what I pulled out.

Village School
Written by "Miss Read"
First published 1955

Publisher's Description:
The first novel in the beloved Fairacre series, Village School introduces the remarkable schoolmistress Miss Read and her lovable group of children, who, with a mixture of skinned knees and smiles, are just as likely to lose themselves as their mittens. This is the English village of Fairacre: a handful of thatch-roofed cottages, a church, the school, the promise of fair weather, friendly faces, and good cheer -- at least most of the time. Here everyone knows everyone else's business, and the villagers like each other anyway (even Miss Pringle, the irascible, gloomy cleaner of Fairacre School). With a wise heart and a discerning eye, Miss Read guides us through one crisp, glistening autumn in her village and introduces us to a cast of unforgettable characters and a world of drama, romance, and humor, all within a stone's throw of the school. By the time winter comes, you'll be nestled snugly into the warmth and wit of Fairacre and won't want to leave.
See the book's page at here.

And the cover of another edition:

There are dozens of “Miss Read” books, and I’ve only read the first three – Village School, Village Diary and Storm in the Village. These three have been published as one volume, Chronicles of Fairacre:

“Miss Read” is the pseudonym of Dora Jessie Saint (born 1913), an English schoolmistress who began her writing career as a journalist after World War II. Beginning with Village School in 1955, she wrote a series of novels centered on two fictional English villages, Fairacre and Thrush Green. The main character in the Fairacre books, also called “Miss Read,” is an unmarried teacher in the small village school. Through Miss Read’s eyes, we get to take part in all the comedy and drama of village life. The books are very appealing social comedies, filled with a gentle, bucolic humor. Dora Saint is often compared to Jane Austen and Barbara Pym, and there are similarities; but I think her humor is milder and her worldview a bit less acerbic.

I read the first three Fairacre books about twenty years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed them (especially Village School). Might be time for another visit.


  1. Oh, I loved the Miss Read books! I'm so glad to see you enjoyed them also. Did you ever read the Mapp & Lucia books by E.F. Benton? Same feel, small English village with a lot of subtle humor. That's one of my favorite series.

    Have a good week and happy reading.

  2. Sounds like a wonderful series of books especially when you want heartwarming humor minus violence!

  3. Sounds like a lovely village and a wonderful read. :)

  4. I've never heard of this series, but it sounds wonderful.

  5. I've never heard of this series, but I shall check it out.

  6. I don't think I could find a book in my shelves beginning with V; have you ever had a problem finding a title for the week's given letteR?

  7. Lovely!

  8. To paraphrase one of the greatest sports movies ever, you had me a t Austen. haha I must check this series out, especially since I adore the 50's!

    It's a wonderful game (? game? meme? whatever) to play, and clearly will lead to a whole bunch of new finds for everyone!

  9. The Miss Read books sound right up my street- thanks for the book lemming!


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