Thursday, August 23, 2012

Review: Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson




Kindle EditionKindle Edition304 pages
Expected publication: September 1st 2012 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published January 1934)
Miss Buncle's Book #1



Published in 1934, Miss Buncle's Book is a captivating and thoroughly delightful story about a spinster who finds herself in dire financial need. Barbara Buncle has previously lived quietly and nicely on her dividends but now they have dwindled down to almost nothing. What should she do? Keep hens? No, that won't suit. Take in paying guests? No, too inconvenient. Oh, wait a minute, she could write a book. Yes, that's what she'll do. But, what to write? She admits she has no imagination so she writes what she knows; a titillating story of the residents in her little British village of Silverstream.

 The publisher, Mr. Abbott, cannot decide if Miss Buncle is a simple writer or a clever satirist but he is convinced that Miss Buncle is on to something and that the story will be successful. When the book is published and becomes an overnight sensation, the villagers who are in the book are up in arms at her portrayal of them. Miss Buncle, writing under the pseudonym of John Smith, may say she has no imagination but she is a keen observer of human nature and has hit the nail on the head with her characterizations, ruffling many a feather along the way.

To the villagers, some of the events in the book seem silly and totally unrealistic at first but a funny thing happens; real life starts to imitate fiction. Still, no one can figure out who John Smith is but when Miss Buncle's second book is released, there is no question about the author. Between Mr. Abbott and Miss Buncle, the perfect ending to the story is concocted. Such fun!

Miss Buncle's Book is delightful and so charming that I read it in two sittings. At the beginning, the reader is bombarded with characters but they soon sort themselves out in no time and become easy to picture in the mind. The well drawn characters, their reactions and the simple village life appealed to me in a big way. It's refreshing to read of a simpler time and place. The story and writing style remind me of E.F. Benson's Miss Mapp and Lucia books and P.G. Wodehouse's stories.

 I smiled, I giggled, I laughed out loud, I tsk'd tsk'd at some of the characters' antics but most of all I loved the book! I can't wait to read another. 5*****

Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by Source Books /Net Galley  in exchange for my honest opinion.



10 comments:

  1. This sounds like a lot of fun, Kaye. I love it when a book makes me laugh out loud.

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  2. This sounds wonderful! I'm going to look for it for my mother - I think she'd adore it!

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  3. I think she would too, Kathy! The best part is there's a sequel, Miss Buncle Married.

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  4. I'd love to get my hands on this one!

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  5. That does sound charming and great fun!

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  6. What an interesting book! I, too, long for books that feature simpler times, and am excited about this one. I am imagining what the townsfolk will do once they've discovered Ms. Buncle's secret. I must get a copy of this book, and soon!

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  7. Kaye...so glad u enjoyed this, especially since I have the Kindle version as well. (I bet I'll like it as well)>

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  8. It sounds delightful! Great review!

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  9. I'm loving the sound of this one!!! I must read it!

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  10. I really want this one. Sounds like a character I would really enjoy.

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