Original date of publication:
My edition: 2010 (Bloomsbury Group)
Why I decided to read: It was offered through LTER; and while I didn't win a copy, it inspired me to track down a copy to read.
How I acquired my copy: Amazon.com
Mrs. Tim of the Regiment is a novel about the adventures of Hester Christie, army wife and mother. The book covers a period of six months, starting with the family’s move to Scotland (and all the headaches that that entails) and culminating with a fortnight in the Highlands, during which time Hester plays fairy godmother to a number of couples.
Mrs. Tim was based on the diary that DE Stevenson kept; she was herself an army wife, and when she showed her diary to a friend, the friend suggested that she spruce things up and publish it. Therefore, Hester’s “voice” is very much like what DE Stevenson was like—her wit sparkles, and her characters jump off the page (even the family car has a name and personality!). As Hester says, her sense of humor is “obstreperous,”—but obstreperous in a good way! Although written 70 years ago, the novel reads as though written just yesterday—it’s that fresh and relevant even today. In some ways, Hester’s diary reminds me of Bridget Jones’s Diary, if Bridget had been a 1920s military wife…
The novel focuses on the daily, trivial things, but the climax of the book (if you can call in that} happens in June, when Hester takes Betty to the Highlands. There’s almost a magical feel to the book as Hester both intentionally and unintentionally tries to fix things. Add in the legend of two long-dead lovers and a family feud (a la Romeo and Juliet), and you’ve got the makings of a memorable holiday. Mrs. Tim of the Regiment is the first in a quartet, though the other three books are sadly out of print and ridiculously expensive to buy online. I hope Bloomsbury will get around to reprinting them soon, because Mrs. Tim of the Regiment is a wholly enjoyable book.