D. E. Stevenson

Books: Romance | Historical

Miss Buncle's Book (1936)

Miss Buncle's Book (1936)

MissBunclesBook_CVR.inddThis book was a fun read. First published in 1936, it's set in England, in that strange time period between the two world wars.

Miss Buncle is at wits end as to what to do for money. Her dividends are no longer supporting her, so she has to do something, so she decides to write a book. The story is of her town, and their reaction to the book, which is marvelous.

Although in many ways it is completely unlike her contemporary, Agatha Christie, the book did have the same sense of timelessness–you could see with just a few alterations, events happening today, because so much of it was based on human nature and human reactions.

Take this

"I wonder where the old codger was," he said to his wife as he sat down to his tea, and spread his bread with a liberal helping of butter and stretched out his arm for the jam.

"'Iding," suggested Mrs. Simmons promptly.

"But I looked all over the place— I looked in the toolshed even—"

"More fool you!" retorted his better half scornfully. "If'e'ad bin in the toolshed it would 'ave meant 'e didn't want to be found. What call 'ad you to be 'unting for the pore gentleman in the toolshed? None. If 'e didn't want to be found it was yore place not to find 'im— see?"

Simmons saw.

or this

…Edwin was twenty years older than Agatha and suffered from a weak heart. It was only reasonable to suppose that he would pass on to a better land before she did. Agatha felt that she could bear the loss more courageously if she had all of Edwin's money to comfort her in her bereavement…

Neither of those passages would be particularly out-of-place in a modern story. And it's those passages that are the heart of the story, and what makes it so enjoyable.

Plus, there were lots of fun words!

chidden, kittle cattle, propitiate

It's somewhat of a romance, but it's completely delightful.

Published by Sourcebooks Landmark

Rating: 8.5/10