Miss Buncle’s Book by D.E. Stevenson is a light-hearted, charming romp through the small English village of Silverstream, somewhere outside of London. Written in 1936, the book has recently been re-released by Sourcebooks Landmark. I say recently, but it was 2012. This is one of those books that I bought right away because it sounded like just my type of book. Then it sat on my shelf waiting for a TBR pile challenge.
Barbara, who was smart enough to use a pseudonym, John Smith, was not quite astute enough to foresee the trouble the book would cause. Of course the inhabitants of her town recognize themselves. And the ones who were most honestly and amusingly portrayed are the ones who are most offended.
Barbara Buncle watches with anxiety as a witch hunt for John Smith ensues, and at the same time, her book has some unforeseen influence over members of the community, including herself. All this makes delicious fodder for the follow-up book that Mr. Abbott insists she must write. Barbara is quite safe from exposure, since the whole town considers the book clever, if scandalous and libelous, and no one has ever given her credit for cleverness. It’s almost enough to make her want to claim credit, if not for the fact that doing so would ruin her life. Or at least, change it.
This is insightful, old-fashioned comedy and sweetly romantic. It’s a quick and pleasant read–a great way to while away a few hours.
This is my first book for the TBR pile reading challenge hosted by Bookish. And since it’s a historical novel, it also counts for the Historical Fiction challenge hosted by Historical Tapestry. Check out the links for these two fun challenges!