From Publishers Weekly
Thriving on juicy, well-meaning gossip, the residents of an old-fashioned English country village conspire to rescue one another in this rambling, gently humorous novel by the pseudonymous author of more than 30 books about Thrush Green. Tongues start wagging when new headmaster Alan Lester hesitates to move into a house, vacated by retired teachers Dorothy and Agnes, that will put him closer to the neighbors. (His wife, it turns out, is overly fond of drink.) Three elderly sisters living in a cottage crammed with antiques rouse concern when one shoplifts scones from the local sweet shop, steals from friends and threatens to bequeath her sisters' belongings to the church. Rumors of matrimony jeopardize the status quo: lonely old Percy Hodge woos flighty servant girls and stirs the derision of his pub companion, a shuffling sexton; the schoolteachers return from the seaside for a visit, disclosing that Dorothy may run off with the blind gentleman to whom she reads. Human nature, the kind intervention of friends and the devotion of the rector and his wife put all to rights. Goodall's pen-and-ink sketches are cozily apt for the story's heartwarming simplicity.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Miss Read's 34th Thrush Green idyll, illustrated as always by the gentle sketches of genteel chaps and aging lassies of John S. Goodall. What's new now in that English never-never land of secure, truly decent (albeit with a handful of manageable exceptions) country men and women, where no one lacks help or a haven in tribulation? Well, there's a new neighbor, the incoming schoolmaster and his mysteriously perennially ill wife. Mysterious, until it's general knowledge that she has a, uh, problem. Poor Violet Lovelock, youngest of the three antique Lovelock sisters, is in a highly nervous state since eldest sister Beatrice has been discovered popping scones at the Fuchsia Bush tea shop and has moved a considerable number of articles in her bedroom. And lonely farmer Percy (you remember he was disagreeable when schoolteacher Dorothy hit--not fatally--his dog with her new car) is quietly courting, and everyone thinks he's after young Doreen Lilly, who's home with mother and Doreen's fatherless tot. The vicar, the doctor, and all the good people rally round and things seem to be set right. Oh, yes, the retired schoolteachers, Dorothy and Agnes, visit now and then, and on one visit Agnes reveals the shocking news that Dorothy may have more than kindly inclinations toward elderly Teddy in their new village. Agnes fears the worst. More of the soothing same. Take a chapter or two before bedtime. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.