The last novel in the beloved Fairacre series finds Miss Read with important decisions to make. Gradually worsening health forces her to consider an early retirement. John Jenkins, a handsome newcomer, competes for her affections with the newly widowed Henry Mawne. However, Miss Read has more on her mind than men. Orphans living in her former house have bolstered the village school's roll, but these new students seem to be having problems with their adoptive family. In the midst of all this turmoil, readers can ...
The last novel in the beloved Fairacre series finds Miss Read with important decisions to make. Gradually worsening health forces her to consider an early retirement. John Jenkins, a handsome newcomer, competes for her affections with the newly widowed Henry Mawne. However, Miss Read has more on her mind than men. Orphans living in her former house have bolstered the village school's roll, but these new students seem to be having problems with their adoptive family. In the midst of all this turmoil, readers can rest assured that FAREWELL TO FAIRACRE boasts all the elements they have come to love: eccentric villagers, gentle humor, and a verdant rural landscape teeming with lambs, larks, and blackthorn bushes.
In the latest-and possibly final-installment of the chronicles of the English village of Fairacre and its tiny school, the pseudonymous author and narrator Miss Read (Changes at Fairacre) begins the academic year anticipating few surprises. Two relatively minor but frightening strokes, however, force the stalwart headmistress to consider, and eventually opt for, early retirement. In the course of her final, lovingly described year at Fairacre school, Miss Read carries on her amiable feud with the school's grouchy cleaner, fends off marriage proposals from a handsome newcomer to town, keeps a watchful eye on the courtship of a newly widowed friend and continues her involvement in the pleasing minutiae of village life. Though Miss Read acknowledges the existence of the contemporary world, the village and its school remain resolutely old-fashioned: ``More worldly children need videos and computers, but in Fairacre, we still enjoy pencils and paper, I am glad to say.'' Sensible, well read and acutely observant, the delightfully prim Miss Read continues to be very good company indeed. Line drawings. (Sept.)
In the finale to a series that began with Village School (1955), Miss Read's long teaching career in Fairacre is brought to a satisfactory close. This quintessential ``gentle read'' chronicles Miss Read's decision to retire as schoolmistress after a series of small strokes. Readers are also brought up-to-date on the lives of other inhabitants of the village who have appeared in scores of previous books: Mrs. Pringle, Miss Read's bullying cleaning lady; the newly widowed Henry Mawne; the Willet family; and her old friends Amy, Vicar Gerald Partridge and his wife, the Umbleditches, and the Annetts. Miss Read must also decide whether to resist the attentions of a handsome newcomer with a romantic interest in her. As soothing and warm as a cup of Earl Grey tea, this book will delight fans and newcomers to the series alike.-Nancy Pearl, Washington Ctr. for the Book, Seattle
With an influx of new students, Miss Read's worries about the future of her beloved school can finally be set aside. In their wake, however, come concerns about the head mistress' own health. Two small strokes spur her decision to retire, and she spends her final months in her usual busy fashion, tending to her students at Fairacre, fending off the surprising attentions of two suitors, and becoming ever more comfortable with thoughts of a new life ahead. Nostalgic without being sentimental, this is a fitting conclusion to a delightful series, recalling old friends and pleasant times in a tranquil English village. Author Dora Saint, "the real Miss Read," fashions no grand exits for her beloved character's thirty-third appearance, choosing instead to say farewell with the same graceful, quiet charm that has endeared Miss Read to so many for so long. Once again, John Goodall's quaint pen-and-ink sketches give face to Fairacre's populace, from Miss Read's grumpy antagonist, Mrs. Pringle, to the honorable, warmhearted Miss Read herself.
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.