VILLAGE CENTENARY welcomes us back to Miss Read's cozy downland village just in time for the one hundredth anniversary of Fairacre School. Miss Clare, who was a pupil and later a teacher there, points out that such a centenary should be celebrated, and all of Fairacre is quick to offer suggestions -- from a tea party to a full-scale pageant. Deciding how best to stage the grand occasion, however, is only one of Miss Read's problems. The ancient skylight in the school is leaking, and Mr. Willetts fears that replacing it will be a difficult job. The new teacher, Miss Briggs, fresh from college and full of idealistic theories, proves a thorn in Miss Read's side. The vicar has decided to keep bees. Miriam Quinn is afraid she might have to leave home. And Mrs. Pringle is her usual dour self. But the seasons continue to change, and the centenary year unfolds with its hopes and fears, its memories and forecasts, its friendships and feuds. VILLAGE CENTENARY marks yet another delightful year in the company of our favorite Fairacre friends.
|Publisher:||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
|Sold by:||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
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About 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The recently retired schoolteacher Miss Clare points out to Fairacre schoolmistress Miss Read that this is the one hundredth anniversary of the school. Miss Clare thinks back to when the villagers celebrated the fiftieth anniversary and the numerous suggestions by the villagers on how to celebrate and honor that milestone before settling on a marvelous tea party. However, soon history repeats itself, as everyone seems to have an opinion on how to celebrate the centennial. Miss Read would relish just concentrating on the gala event and the myriad of ideas, but she has distractions besides the welfare of her pupils to deal with. The school¿s skylight leaks will be difficult and expensive to repair. Miss Clare¿s replacement Miss Briggs needs seasoning, as she contains idealistic energy of youth not yet tempered by experience. Other villagers share unique problems with Miss Read, who thanks the heavens that custodian Mrs. Pringle remains as morose as ever. VILLAGE CENTENARY is over two decades old but retains a freshness rarely seen in a long running series like the Miss Read Fairacre novels. The story line is a simple look at village life as a key milestone event is to occur. Heated arguments over what to do in a cozy environs seems so insignificant. That is until one thinks of some of the same types of debates in America such as the centennial celebration for the Statue of Liberty, the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence, and even the one-hundredth anniversary of the Brooklyn Bridge, etc. Miss Read¿s tales are fun, insightful, invigorating, and universal. Harriet Klausner