In her first book,
Village School, Miss Read portrayed the small but detailed world of a typical primary school in a remote country area. It was a world peopled by the children themselves; Miss Clare, the venerable infants teacher; glum Mrs Pringle, the cleaner; the vicar; and other inhabitants of Fairacre.
In Village Diary, Miss Read describes the people of Fairacre with the same exactitude, sense of comedy, and sharp observation. In addition to those characters familiar to readers of Village School, there are newcomers, including dictatorial Amy, an old college friend; Mr Mawne, whom the village sees as a possible husband for the unwilling Miss Read; and the earnest new infants teacher. Overshadowing everything is the mammoth country pageant, in which Fairacre is so sharply and painfully divided.
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