The White Robin and Village Centenary (#14, #15 in The Fairacre Chronicles)

Two more wonderful books from this series. I have only five left to read and I'm torn between reading them all right now or going back to hoarding them. When I'm reading other books - so many stories of war, crime, disaster, loss, and the general misery of the human race - it's nice to know these books are there to return to. Sometimes I need a comforting dose of charming characters and life as a mostly happy thing. Not that they aren't realistic - the characters have all kinds of flaws and sad things do happen - but Miss Read is gentle with the reader in the telling. These books are just such a relief after the intensity of others.

The White Robin by Miss Read

The White Robin is about just that, an albino robin (I looked it up - they exist) appearing in gardens around Fairacre, to the amazement of the villagers. The school children are particularly enamoured of this lovely white bird with its rust coloured breast and Miss Read, good teacher that she is, gets them involved in it's care and feeding. But one day a troubled young boy...well, I won't spoil it for you. And lest it sound like a children's book, be assured the lives of the villagers carry on in the usual way providing Miss Read with lots of interesting stories to tell.

Village Centenary by Miss Read

Village Centenary is about the 100th anniversary of the Fairacre School, of which Miss Read is current head mistress. There are only 2 teachers now, and a handful of students all under age 10, but most of the villagers were educated there and have good memories of their school years. Celebrations are carefully planned, Miss Clare (the previous head mistress we fell in love with in earlier books) returns to tell stories of the past, the Vicar takes up bee-keeping, and Mrs. Pringle (the curmudgeonly cleaner of the school and teacher's house) has another run-in with her troublesome niece, Minnie. Miss Read receives two surprises, one from her old friend, Kay, and one from Miss Clare. One will offer a brief, pleasant diversion, the other will have a profound effect on her future.  

The writing is lovely, the characters endearing, the stories gently humorous - everything you could want in a series of comfort reads. I'm grateful that when I finish this series there's another one waiting. The numbers may sound intimidating - 20 in the Fairacre series and 13 in Thrush Green, but they are brief and easy to read and I so wish there were more. 


Post a Comment