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Music In The Hills (Dering Family, #2)
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Music In The Hills (Dering Family #2)

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  446 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
In this sequel to Vittoria Cottage, it has been five years since James had been at Mureth House, and he has traveled throughout the world. Now that he has left the army, he is ready to settle down to farming but still yearns for golden-haired Rhoda Ware, who had turned away from him. Not until a certain wise lady gave fate a nudge, did James even hope he could have both Rh ...more
Hardcover, 282 pages
Published January 1st 1972 by Henry Holt & Co. (first published 1950)
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Kim Kaso
Jul 21, 2015 Kim Kaso rated it it was amazing
These books are comfort books for me. They may not be "great" literature, but they make me feel better when I am stressed and sad, and deserve every star for just that. The author creates a quiet world in which small things happen, but they happen to lovely characters about whom I care deeply. In this world, small events have a big impact. These books are a bit old-fashioned in the way they see the relationships between men and women, but it reflects the time during which they were written, and ...more
Julie  Durnell
Feb 13, 2017 Julie Durnell rated it really liked it
Shelves: england-uk
A quiet and beautiful read-I really enjoyed this story!
Alisha Trenalone
May 20, 2012 Alisha Trenalone rated it liked it
Shelves: own
D.E. Stevenson is such a good writer.
Unfortunately I guess I can understand why she's not more popular today--her style doesn't necessarily have a lot of zip. But sometimes you don't want zip. I like what one review (quoted on the back of this book) said: "She creates a small world of tempests and ripples in a teacup."

So, this book is a bit different from the Miss Buncle books, or from Bel Lamington (although there are some crossover characters with Bel Lamington). This one is set in Scotland. S
Mar 03, 2016 Carol rated it really liked it
3 1/2 stars

I like borrowing a free Kindle book once a month (I'm a mooch at my core), but life is too short to scroll through all those titles which don't interest me. But one of my friends mentioned getting D.E. Stevenson's books on Kindle Prime so I checked one out.

This is comfort reading through and through, along the lines of O. Douglas, Miss Read, Elizabeth Goudge, and Barbara Pym. Stevenson has been called Mistress of the Light Novel.

The plot was predictable, but one thing made me nervous.
Feb 22, 2017 Mo rated it liked it
As usual, I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Stevenson's style of writing. However, I had a couple of bones of contention:

1. Did anyone else want to slap James upside his head? Firstly, because of his petulent attitude towards his mother's remarriage, and secondly, because of his complete lack of constancy toward the woman he loved. I just couldn't view him with a very sympathetic eye.

2. I'm not a fan of such an abrupt ending.
Nov 23, 2008 CLM rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 29, 2015 Sarah rated it liked it
I got a little bit bogged down in the domesticity of this little novel for a while, but things brightened up a bit towards the middle. It is, after all, comfort reading, so one can't expect many twists and surprises, but the writing is excellent, as usual, even if it is one of D E Stevenson's lesser works.
Aug 12, 2014 Miriam rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Farmers' wives
Basically, you spend the entire book waiting for something to happen. Then it ends. Stevenson is the worst at endings. The WORST.

Luckily I read the last book in this trilogy first, or I would have given up on it.
Oct 28, 2015 Claude rated it liked it
Another lovely read. Not much is happening, but reading D.E. Stevenson is always a pleasure. On to "Shoulder The Skies"
Nov 07, 2015 Deb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of course I've read this many times before, probably 40 or more years ago, and I own a print version (US book club edition) as well. But the story of James and Daniel and the sheep-stealers never seems to pall. And the aristo who is so busy taking care of others' children that she neglects her own is also a good theme!
Jun 24, 2016 Elaine rated it really liked it
I liked the first one better (Vittoria's Cottage), but this book was good, too. I'm looking forward to reading the third (Shoulder the Sky). This is a sweet, bucolic book set in the Scottish countryside during WWII.
Apr 01, 2016 Ellen rated it it was amazing
I ❤ DE Stevenson! ...more
Nov 07, 2016 Barbara rated it it was ok
Mar 01, 2017 Kristin rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. delightful!
"Here's a refreshing, appealing story of love with a beautiful rural setting and with the charm and poignance of a lilting, haunting melody. It's the story of the love Mamie and Jock Johnstone have for each other, the deep, trusting love of a happily married couple, and of the love they feel for their farm and their chosen way of live. But it's the story, too, of the more troubled hearts of the younger generation.

"James Dering, the Johnstones' nephew, has come to live with them and learn farming
Cricket Muse
Jan 07, 2012 Cricket Muse rated it it was amazing
The sequel to Vittoria Cottage focuses on James, who has taken up his Uncle Jock's offer to learn how to run his farm nestled in the picturesque Scottish countryside. Pining after the beauteous Rhoda, the golden-haired girl of his dreams who turned down his offer of proposal because she is dedicated to painting, James devotes himself to learning how to become the best farmer he can be. This proves difficult at times, for he must deal with sheep rustlers, getting to know the local customs, and no ...more
Kilian Metcalf
Nov 23, 2015 Kilian Metcalf rated it really liked it
Story that begins with Vittoria Cottage shifts to the border region of Scotland. James is at loose ends when he returns from duty in Malaya, not sure of what he wants to do with his life. His dream is to farm, but he has no clue how to achieve this dream. Fortunately his mother's sister Mamie is married to a sheep farmer in Scotland. They invite James to come for an extended visit and see whether farming might suit him. What neither he nor his mother knows is that Mamie and Jock have had their e ...more
classic reverie
You can read Vittoria Cottage to get a beter understanding of this story but as the author stated before starting the story, it is not necessary but I am glad I did. Each story is quite enjoyable following the family of Caroline Derek. In this story focus is on her sister and her husband's farm, which is colorful with the area and the people. Caroline's son James is the focus here. You find out about some other characters they were in the first book but the focus is this Scottish farming town.
Dec 29, 2007 Carolyn rated it really liked it
James Dering arrives in Drumburly to learn farming at his uncle's Scottish farm, after being released from the army. He tries to leave behind some unsettling memories. His mother has remarried (Vittoria Cottage), his one love will not marry him and he feels like an orphan.

His gentle aunt and her loving husband, Jock Johnstone, help James adjust to the life of a lonely sheep farmer. James attempts to solve a sheep rustling mystery.

Another favorite story. I love the sequel 'Shoulder the Sky' as w
Mar 31, 2013 Susan rated it liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
James Dering (whose family you may have met in Stevenson's "Vittoria Cottage") goes to stay with his Aunt Mamie and Uncle Jock, not knowing that the childless couple plan to will him their estate if he turns out to enjoy the farming life. James takes to farming, though he's also rather taken by some of the feminine company in the area--but not enough to forget the rejection of his marriage proposal by Rhoda Ware. His chaste relationship with a lonely, neglected teen-ager may seem a bit more cree ...more
Mar 25, 2016 Donna rated it really liked it
Shelves: d-e-stevenson
This is the second of a new series of books I am reading by an author I have just discovered, D.E. Stevenson (who just happens to be the cousin of Robert Louis Stevenson). The setting is the bucolic Scottish countryside and the characters are loving, kind and decent with just a bit of drama thrown in! A very warm and comfortable read, which is a nice escape from the realities of our stressful world.
Dec 08, 2016 Elisabeth rated it liked it
Stevenson is such a pleasant read with her very simple style, which makes the book almost feels like it was written for children. There are some really lovely moments in it and a sense of depth that goes beyond the easy reading surface. In this one, unfortunately, there are also moments of casual racism/antisemitism that come up like a slap in the face and that drives me down into the three star zone and also makes less fond of Stevenson overall. I almost wish I hadn't read it.
Jan 11, 2016 Sheila rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two and a half stars. I enjoyed the Miss Buncle series, and I enjoyed the first book in this series, "Vittoria Cottage", but this was not on the same level. I kept reading only to find out what happened to the various characters. The writing is lovely and gentle, as in all of the D. E. Stevenson books, but I just didn't like some of the plot lines.
Jan 11, 2017 Joy rated it liked it
Nice family, nice setting. James, rejected by the girl he loves, goes to join his uncle Jock Johnstone and learn to be a farmer. There is a designing girl from a gentleman's family, a mystery regarding sheep rustlers, and a rich, ignorant outsider whose hobby farm is bound to fail. And, of course, a surprising happy ending.
Jul 16, 2009 Kay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A general review of D.E. Stevenson. Like Miss Read, a lot of D. E. Stevenson's books are out of print. I have also tried to collect these but they are harder to come by. I especially love the Mrs. Tim series which you can no longer find. Anything about living in England during WWII is a favorite with me.
Jul 29, 2011 Julie rated it really liked it
Shelves: british-fiction
If you like D. E. Stevenson's books, then you will like this one. It takes place on a farm in Scotland. You will get caught up in her descriptions of the Scottish countryside and her characters. I suppose these days you would call this a 'cozy' read.
Jan 09, 2016 Marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a lovely second half of the series

James has moved to Scotland to be with his aunt and uncle. He is sure that he wants to take up farming.

It's a lovely series, I am going to read the last book shortly.

Norma Mason
Mar 19, 2016 Norma Mason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful quiet day.

I refuse to post spoilers, so I will only say that all the novels of D.E. Stevenson are quietly engaging. Her characters are finely drawn, and a perfect antidote to a rainy day.
May 06, 2008 Katie rated it really liked it
I loved this book, I believe it is out of print but I found it at the local library. it is a easy read. Set in Europe during World War I.
Jan 19, 2014 Sally rated it liked it
A pleasant story about life in a farming community in Scotland. I stopped in the middle for a while, but did finish it. Not great, but very nice.
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Full name: Dorothy Emily Stevenson.
Her father was a Cousin of Robert Louis Stevenson

D.E. Stevenson had an enormously successful writing career: between 1923 and 1970, four million copies of her books were sold in Britain and three million in the States. Like E.F. Benson, Ann Bridge, O. Douglas or Dorothy L. Sayers (to name but a few) her books are funny, intensely readable, engaging and dependable
More about D.E. Stevenson...

Other Books in the Series

Dering Family (3 books)
  • Vittoria Cottage (Dering Family, #1)
  • Shoulder the Sky (Dering Family, #3)

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“It is curious but true that those who make a habit of saying unkind things are often the most easily hurt and offended when their victims retaliate.” 0 likes
“No more was said. Mrs. Dunne had dropped her poison and was quite content. Mrs. Johnstone might pretend to be dense, but she was not as dense as all that, and even if the poison did not work very quickly its effect would not be entirely lost. Someday something might happen and Mrs. Johnstone would remember what she had said. Mrs. Dunne hated the Bells. Nothing would please her better than to see the Bells discredited, to watch them packing up and leaving Mureth. If she could accomplish that she would be happy, or so she thought. She hated all the Bell family, but Daisy was the worst, for Daisy was not only young and pretty, she was clever too. Daisy had discovered Mrs. Dunne’s vulnerable points and enjoyed pricking her where the pricks would hurt… and Mrs. Dunne, who liked hurting other people and making them squirm, disliked being hurt herself. It is curious but true that those who make a habit of saying unkind things are often the most easily hurt and offended when their victims retaliate.” 0 likes
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