Old and new friends find a warm welcome in the cozy English village of Thrush Green— “Miss Read’s novels are sheer delight” (Chicago Tribune).
There had been general dismay when Miss Watson and Miss Fogerty retired to Barton-on-Sea after many years of devoted service teaching the children of Thrush Green, so their visit to see old friends in the village brings great pleasure. The new headmaster, Alan Lester, is cautiously accepted, but rumor is rife about his wife’s health.
Meanwhile, farmer Percy Hodge is also the subject of local speculation: Is his strange behavior the result of an infatuation with the young Doreen Lilly? As for affairs at the Lovelocks’ house, it is increasingly apparent that Bertha Lovelock is now in her dotage, and a new and most unfortunate habit is the cause of considerable embarrassment to the good people of Lulling. All these matters and more are faced by our old friends against the familiar background and changing seasons of the Cotswolds.
“[A] rambling, gently humorous novel . . . Heartwarming simplicity.” —Publishers Weekly
Thriving on juicy, well-meaning gossip, the residents of an old-fashioned English country village conspire to rescue one another in this rambling, gently humorous novel by the pseudonymous author of more than 30 books about Thrush Green. Tongues start wagging when new headmaster Alan Lester hesitates to move into a house, vacated by retired teachers Dorothy and Agnes, that will put him closer to the neighbors. (His wife, it turns out, is overly fond of drink.) Three elderly sisters living in a cottage crammed with antiques rouse concern when one shoplifts scones from the local sweet shop, steals from friends and threatens to bequeath her sisters' belongings to the church. Rumors of matrimony jeopardize the status quo: lonely old Percy Hodge woos flighty servant girls and stirs the derision of his pub companion, a shuffling sexton; the schoolteachers return from the seaside for a visit, disclosing that Dorothy may run off with the blind gentleman to whom she reads. Human nature, the kind intervention of friends and the devotion of the rector and his wife put all to rights. Goodall's pen-and-ink sketches are cozily apt for the story's heartwarming simplicity.