I hugely enjoyed DE Stevenson’s two earlier Miss Buncle books and cannot wait to start this one, the last, The Two Mrs Abbotts.
In the first of the trilogy, Miss Buncle’s Book (1934), Persephone Book No. 81, Miss Buncle, gloriously, wrote a novel about the village she lived in and then had hastily to depart because the true identity of ‘John Smith’ was about to be revealed. In Miss Buncle Married (1936), Persephone Book No. 91, she becomes the wife of her publisher and leaves Hampstead for Wandlebury, a village within commutable distance of London. The Two Mrs Abbotts starts with one of the characters in Miss Buncle’s Book arriving in the village to give a talk for the Women’s Institute and to stay with Mrs Abbott, not knowing that it is her old friend Miss Buncle, mother by now of two children. And after that there is the usual intensely readable round of events, none of them earth shattering, none of them pertaining to ‘great literature’, but the novel is wonderfully enjoyable and although perhaps not quite as witty and fun as Miss Buncle’s Book, it is a very good and entertaining read.
(from the Persephone Books website)
Persephone Books is a wonderful publishing house and I owe them many a pleasurable reading hour. Not only are their books genuinely beautiful objects – with their signature dove grey covers and endpapers that reflect the period the books were first published – their list also contains some of the best fiction you can find, well written, thoughtful and truly enjoyable.