If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that back in 2015 I set myself the challenge of reading all of Agatha Christie's murder/mystery books in chronological order. That challenge came to an end during 2020 so I've been looking out for another little reading challenge to set myself since. I've heard a lot of people mention the Miss Read books, some have recommended them to me and said they thought I'd enjoy them, so I decided to include the first book from the Fairacre series, Village School, on my Christmas wish list and Mick obliged. There it was, wrapped in beautiful Christmas paper, waiting for me underneath the Christmas tree on Christmas morning.
"Fairacre is a pretty village of cottages, church and school - and at the heart of the school is its headmistress, Miss Read.
We meet the young school children with their scraped knees, rosy faces and inevitable mischief. Through the author's discerning eye, we meet the inhabitants of Fairacre and learn of their trials and tribulations, their hopes and dreams.
Miss Read takes us through the school year, beginning with the Christmas term, when the bitterly cold weather challenges the school's ancient heating system, right through to the hot summer day when school is over for another year.
Full of Miss Read's fine humour and astute observations, Village School is an intriguing glimpse into a forgotten world and has become a true classic."
What can I say, I loved it. Not only did I enjoy reading it but I've now found my next reading challenge. There are, I believe, twenty books in the Fairacre series and thirteen books in the Thrush Green series. I shall tackle these first but there are other standalone books too. I averaged one Agatha Christie book a month, in between reading other books, so if I continue at this rate, it should take me just short of three years to complete the two main series of books before I decide if I shall continue with the other books which were written by Miss Read.
Miss Read was the pseudonym of Dora Jessie Saint MBE, an English novelist and schoolmistress who was born in 1913. Her pseudonym was derived from the maiden name of her mother. Her two main series of novels were written between 1955 and 1996 when she retired and in 1998 she was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for her services to literature. She died in 2012.
I'm hoping that I can get hold of all of the books, it does look as though some of them aren't available to buy new any longer so it will be a case of whether I can get hold of them second hand as the library seem only to stock the odd one or two. I've already ordered the next two in the series from Ebay, fingers crossed I can get the rest.