Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Miss Buncle's Book

Title: Miss Buncle's Book
Author: D.E. Stevenson
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 335
Published: 1934
Date Finished: 3 Mar 2009
My Rating: 5 Stars
Challenges: Decades, New Author, 100+, Library

While Miss Buncle's Book is a Persephone reprint the copy I read was a very old library book that I was able to find at my local library. While I love reading the lovely Persephone books I also love reading old books so when I found this copy I went ahead and picked it up. There was still an old library card tucked into the back with due dates stamped from 1938. A delightful find, I hate to return it to the library.
If I had a list for books that was labeled simply "charming," Miss Buncle's Book would certainly top the list. A thoroughly charming book from start to finish.
Barbara Buncle's dividends are down and finances are getting tight. Realizing that she must do something to bring in more income she briefly considers keeping hens or taking in boarders but neither seem very appealing. After a comment from her maid, Miss Buncle decides to write a book. The only problem is that she is not a writer and does not know how to write about things she does not know. Miss Buncle's quiet little English village of Silverstream is therefor turned into the village of Cooperfield and the residents of Silverstream become thinly veiled characters in Miss Buncle's book, Disturber of the Peace.
Published under the name of John Smith, Miss Buncle's book becomes a best seller but their is an uproar in Silverstream as the residents recognize themselves and a fair share of their faults in the book. An array of humorous characters join forces to discover who the real John Smith is and make him or her pay for the terrible slander that has been committed against them. While the finger is pointed at many local residents no one even considers that frumpy ol' Miss Buncle could have ever had the ability to pull this book off.
Have I mentioned that I was completely charmed with this book? Oh I did? Well it bears saying again. This book was just plain fun to read. Filled with delightful characters that had me snickering at times to laughing out loud at others. There are a lot of characters and the book within a book idea could have gotten messy and confusing but it thankfully didn't.
It is hard to find a copy of this here in the states but check your local library. If you can't find a copy there than I suggest you break down and have a Persephone copy shipped from England. I know I'll be adding Miss Buncle's book to my next order because I must have this on my shelf. There is a sequel, Miss Buncle Married, that I've been trying to track down a copy of and I finally have. Yea! I'll be reading it soon.
Can I say it again? Charming and delightful!


Trish said...

So glad you liked this one! I left you a little award here.

Karen Beth said...

Jeanette, I am happy to have found your blog! Your review style is just what I was looking for. I especially like the idea of having a "charming" category for the books I've read. And 1938 library cards? Priceless!

Tricia said...

I just finished it and thought it was absolutely delightful. Thank you for recommending it!

Laura H said...

Requested it. Read it. Loved it. Hope to get the sequel. Thanks for the review.