A row of cottages comes up for sale in Fairacre - although with less than desirable tenants at either end, who could possibly want to buy it
Miss Read heard about the sale of Tyler's Row from the always well-informed Mrs Pringle - and before long Fairacre is alive with rumours. Why were the present owners selling? Was it true that a football poolswinner was about to buy it? Had Tyler's Row been condemned - or was it to be restored?
All rumours are soon laid to rest when Peter and Donna Hale arrive in Fairacre to view Tyler's Row, with plans to knock the middle two cottages into one, and create their own rural haven.
But the Hales soon discover that Fairacre is no Utopia but a normal English village, with all the usual troubles...
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.