Miss Read's future as headmistress hangs in the balance as the village school is threatened with closure.
'People in Fairacre simply won't stand for their children being uprooted, and carted away in buses like so many - er, so many-'
'Animals ' prompted Mr Roberts helpfully.
'No, no, not animals,' said Mrs Mawne testily. 'Animals don't go in buses! What I mean is, we won't have it. We'll never let Fairacre school close.'
She looked round the table. Her face was red, her eyes bright.
The village of Fairacre is buzzing with rumours of the imminent closure of its two-class school. As fears grow amid mounting conjecture, headmistress Miss Read's future hangs in the balance. And trouble is never far away as village life is further disrupted by tangled matrimonial affairs and a police investigation. The community must rally together to face this new threat
Absorbing, insightful and affectionate, this delightful novel takes the reader into a gentler world - GOOD BOOK GUIDE
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.