The third novel in the bestselling Fairacre series.
On a blustery March day in the village of Fairacre, Miss Clare sees two strangers, 'pacing slowly, side by side, along the edge of Hundred Acre Field which lay on the other side of Miss Clare's garden hedge...'
So begins a story which brings all the villagers of Fairacre together, as they face the prospect of developers, who hope to build new houses on the fields adjoining old Mr Miller's farm. Everyone has an opinion - but not everyone is in agreement about the development.
Under the watchful gaze of Miss Read, the schoolteacher, we meet old characters and new, from retired teacher Miss Clare and the surly Mrs Pringle, to the new assistant teacher, Miss Jackson - who brings with her problems of her own...
Observed with exactitude, animation, and a sense of comedy that recall a Brueghel painting of village folk - THE TIMES
Here you'll find delicious wit, quirky characters, the colourful intrigues of daily life, and certainly love and laughter ... delightful - Jan Karon
An affectionate, humorous and gently charming chronicle ... sometimes funny, sometimes touching, always appealing - NEW YORK TIMES
Miss Read so understands and loves the country and can write so tenderly and humorously about the minutiae of village life without distortion or sentimentality - TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
Miss Read, or in real life Dora Saint, was a teacher by profession who started writing after the second world war, beginning with light essays written for Punch and other journals. She then wrote on educational and country matters and worked as a scriptwriter for the BBC. Miss Read was married to a schoolmaster for sixty-four years until his death in 2004, and they had one daughter.
Miss Read was awarded an MBE in the 1998 New Year Honours list for her services to literature, She was the author of many immensely popular books, including two autobiographical works, but it was her novels of English rural life for which she was best known. The first of these Village School, was published in 1955, and Miss Read continued to write about the fictional villages of Fairacre and Thrush Green for many years. She lived near Newbury in Berkshire until her death in 2012.
Two plays based on her work have been written by Ron Perry, Miss Read's Thrush Green and Miss Read Remembered.