In the Bookcase


Book Review: Village School

Village School by Miss Read (5 star review)

Village School
Fairacre series, #1

written by Miss Read

239 pages // published in 1955 // British cozy literature


The first novel in the beloved Fairacre series, Village School introduces the remarkable schoolmistress Miss Read and her lovable group of children, who, with a mixture of skinned knees and smiles, are just as likely to lose themselves as their mittens. This is the English village of Fairacre: a handful of thatch-roofed cottages, a church, the school, the promise of fair weather, friendly faces, and good cheer -- at least most of the time. Here everyone knows everyone else's business, and the villagers like each other anyway (even Miss Pringle, the irascible, gloomy cleaner of Fairacre School). With a wise heart and a discerning eye, Miss Read guides us through one crisp, glistening autumn in her village and introduces us to a cast of unforgettable characters and a world of drama, romance, and humor, all within a stone's throw of the school. By the time winter comes, you'll be nestled snugly into the warmth and wit of Fairacre and won't want to leave.

My Review

5 Star Rating

It is simply a joy to sit down and get lost in the little village of Fairacre. I am completely transported to 1950's England by Miss Read. It's like a mini-vacation to just sit down and listen to her woes, her thrills, her triumphs in life as a schoolmistress (though little triumphs it feels like to her, I'm sure).

This particular novel, the very first of the Fairacre lot, takes us on a journey of a normal year in Miss Read's classroom, and her interactions with the other townspeople during the year.

She's such a talented writer, I must say. Her descriptions are just so delicious, it's amazing. Her vocabulary? I'm in awe of. I never knew before that one could “run scrunchily”… or that one can eat “craggy slices of bread”!

The narrator of the story, Miss Read, leads with a charming voice – ever so sweetly pointing out the ironies of village life and the fun bits of happiness in her days, usually with some highlights of comedic episodes. Yes, and sometimes the bits of sourness too, when necessary – especially with certain dour-faced children are in the picture.

Overall? Absolutely, positively wonderful.

Favorite quote:

"'Are you alright? Can I fetch you some water?' inquired a kindly headmaster near the door. I felt inclined to tell him that I was on the verge of an apoplectic fit, brought on through exasperation, and that nothing less than a full pot of tea could even begin to help me -- So I merely thanked him and escaped into the market square."
(Chapter 18, The Music Festival)

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This is book #7 for me in the Back to the Classics 2018 challenge.
[CATEGORY: Classic by a Woman Author]

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  1. Nice review. I have several of her books upstairs waiting for me to read. I'm looking forward to it.

    1. Katie, I know you'll enjoy it! I've only read a couple of titles from the series myself, but I sincerely treasure these books. :)