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Changes at Fairacre

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Overview

Times are changing in the charming downland village of Fairacre, and Miss Read isn't certain that it's all for the best. The new commuter lifestyle has caused a drop in attendance at the local school, and officials are threatening closure. Miss Read worries about the failing health of Dolly Clare. Vegetable gardens have given way to trips to the Caxley markets, and the traditional village fete now includes a prize for best quiche. With her trademark patience and good humor, Miss Read hopes for the best and plans ...

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Changes at Fairacre

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Overview

Times are changing in the charming downland village of Fairacre, and Miss Read isn't certain that it's all for the best. The new commuter lifestyle has caused a drop in attendance at the local school, and officials are threatening closure. Miss Read worries about the failing health of Dolly Clare. Vegetable gardens have given way to trips to the Caxley markets, and the traditional village fete now includes a prize for best quiche. With her trademark patience and good humor, Miss Read hopes for the best and plans for the worst as the village grows increasingly modern. Despite all the innovations, Fairacre still retains its essential elements: gentle wit, good manners, and the comfort of caring neighbors.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In the 35th novel to be set in the tiny British villages of Thrush Green and Fairacre, the characters and settings are as familiar and comfortable as old shoes. The pseudonymous Read has created an orderly universe in which people are kind and conscientious and cherish virtues and manners now considered antiquated elsewhere. But unwelcome changes are making themselves felt in the villages. Miss Read inherits Dolly Clare's little cottage at Thrush Green, her grief at the death of her old friend and mentor somewhat assuaged by the security of home ownership; the declining enrollment at Fairacre School, where Miss Read teaches, may lead to its closing. Improved highways, higher salaries and the ubiquity of the automobile have enabled many Fairacre inhabitants to shop in distant cities and educate their children at larger schools miles away. Bucolic life has given way to those of the busy, two-income commuter families who have scarcely enough time to plant a few flowers in their gardens. The novel's slight plot sometimes gets in the way of Read's wonderful descriptive abilities, but her characters, as always, fairly leap off the pages; the cantankerous, Cassandra-like Mrs. Pringle; her feekless daughter, Minnie; the crusty old factotum, Mr. Willet; and the young Joseph Coggs-are all completely believable. Read writes with deep affection about what she knows and never succumbs to the temptation of clich6s. An occasional visit to Fairacre offers a restful change from the frenetic pace of the contemporary world. (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618154579
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 258
  • Sales rank: 681,180
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Miss Read (1913-2012) was the pseudonym of Mrs. Dora Saint, a former schoolteacher beloved for her novels of English rural life, especially those set in the fictional villages of Thrush Green and Fairacre. The first of these, Village School , was published in 1955, and Miss Read continued to write until her retirement in 1996. In the 1998, she was awarded an MBE, or Member of the Order of the British Empire, for her services to literature.

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