Mrsgaskell's Reviews > Miss Buncle's Book

Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson
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's review
Sep 30, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: 10-star, british, library
Read from November 02 to 04, 2011

This was the first "Goodread recommendation" that I've read. It won't be the last! Miss Buncle's Book, first published in 1934, was a charming, gentle read, delightful and funny.

Miss Buncle is a frumpy, forty-year-old spinster (and, oh, in those days, did they make forty seem old!), a somewhat overlooked resident of the small English village of Silverstream. When Miss Buncle's income begins to dwindle due to "poor dividends", she considers various alternatives to supplement her income. To the great relief of her maid, Dorcas, she rules out raising hens, and decides to write a book. Miss Buncle claims to be lacking in imagination so her book is a thinly veiled account of Silverstream and its residents. She does have the ability to see right through people's facades. Her publisher Mr. Abbott isn't sure if this new writer "John Smith" is a brilliant satirist or a very simple person - but he loves the book. "Disturber of the Peace" rapidly becomes a bestseller and soon the villagers of Silverstream are to various degrees amused, disturbed, and outright angered by the book. Some of them are determined to unmask the traitor in their midst and have him horsewhipped. Of course, no one would ever suspect Miss Buncle. The publication of the book is a catalyst for change, really stirring up village life, and altering the course of many lives including Miss Buncle's. I finished this over a cup of hot chocolate and a cinnamon tea biscuit - it seemed appropriate for this cozy, undemanding, happy read.

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