This book is a wonderful collection of short stories. The stories involve the deeds and misdeeds of the inhabitants of five contiguous towns - Turnhill, Bursley, Hanbridge, Knype, and Longshaw, based on real villages in the Potteries, Staffordshire, England, around the turn of the twentieth century. The stories dwell on relatively minor events in the lives of the inhabitants but the author manages to maintain the momentum and interest in each story. The characters are all nice, warm, cuddly individuals, people that you would not mind spending an evening with. The author's gentle humor is very amusing, particularly the exchange of dialogue between the characters. You will find yourself unconsciously smiling whilst reading the stories and it will not be a grim smile!.