A celebration causes trouble in the village of Thrush Green...
A major, double celebration is planned in the Cotswold village of Thrush Green: the village school is in its centenary year; and exactly a hundred years ago, one of the village's most notable residents founded a mission school in Africa.
But the preparations are beset with problems - Winnie Bailey's health is not what it was; the new headmaster doesn't appear to be entirely right for the job; and there are mixed reactions to the fund-raising appeal for the mission school.
But when the big day arrives, there are more reasons for celebration than anyone anticipated...
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.