This was W’s choice for this month’s book club. We all decided it was a welcome change from some of the rather heavy going and page turning books of late.
K loved it, it was her sort of book and just like me, did not want it to end. C said she read it one sitting as it was that sort of book and brought with her some Viennese biscuits for us to share (you must have read the book to understand this reference). It took L a while to work out why she had brought them!
It was a book which had some really great characters in, the way the headmistress was described as an outsider coming into this little village with her red shoes and silver heels – she was our kind of lady. Then the delightful names that the author, who no one else had heard of except for myself and W. They all created images in our head and we discussed how it could quite easily be turned into one of those ‘Sunday night dramas’. We can imagine a Chardonnay being a right little madam! C (our resident midwife – not compulsory at a book group) told of a recent child named Baby Doll. Yes you read that right – Baby Doll. Words failed us all.
We were all moved by the lovely story of the boy and his grandfather and a tear was shed as he lost the man who had loved him and brought him up. There was also an element of mystery to this book and the new headteacher. It was nice to see that everything was not so perfect in this little village and that the headteacher’s own child had issues and was one of the reasons she moved to the job. It showed a lot of gutsy women who are getting on with their lives and making others lives possible.
This is a book which left us feeling heart warmed and also that if someone outside of this country wanted to get a rose tinted view of life in England this is probably a good book to start off with. Some of the humour might pass them by, as we all believed that British humour and probably Yorkshire humour is so unique that it would not make sense to so many.
I think W has converted some readers to Gervase Phinn and the subsequent books will certainly be read I am sure.
And as for the Viennese biscuits well they were demolished and certainly not as unpleasant as those in the book.