Skip to main content

Review: Miss Buncle Married, by DE Stevenson


Pages: 387
Original date of publication: 1936
My edition: 2011 (Persephone)
Why I decided to read:
How I acquired my copy: Persephone website, June 2011

When we last saw Miss Buncle, she was just about to marry her publisher, Arthur Abbott. Her novel, Disturber of the Peace, disturbed the peace in the town of Silverstream, and the novel opens with a decision to move from there in light of the censure Barbara, now of course married, received for writing it. Barbara begins married life in Wandlebury, a new town with a whole new set of characters from which to gain inspiration. But Barbara claims she has eschewed novel writing and turns her attention to her new house, friends, and family, including Arthur’s nephew Sam.

Barbara is just as charming as ever; she’s incredibly perceptive of the people she encounters, from the village busybodies, to the town doctor (who happens to be an old friend of Arthur’s), to an eccentric old aristocrat who changes her will according to the whim of a moment. It’s this will that’s at the heart of the plot of the book and the mistakes and mistaken identities that ensue as a part of Barbara’s attempts to interfere. There are some truly hysterical scenes in the novel, but I don’t want to reveal anything for fear of ruing the plot.

Only time will tell if Barbara learns her lesson; I’m wondering when The Two Mrs. Abbotts will be republished so I can get more of these wonderful characters, including the Marvels next door: Mr. Marvel is a wonderfully boorish Artist and his ragamuffin children who run roughshod over the Abbotts’ garden. The ending is somewhat predictable, and many of the characters are toned down from the ones that appear in Miss Buncle’s Book, but I thought this novel was entertaining from the first page to the last.

Comments

This is the second post I've seen about Miss Buncle and I'm wondering how I ever missed out on her? I definitely need to read these. They sound terrific!

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Invitation to the Waltz, by Rosamond Lehmann

Pages: 304Original date of publication: 1931My edition: Why I decided to read: I found this while looking on ebay for Virago Modern ClassicsHow I acquired my copy: bought secondhand on ebayInvitation to the Waltz is one of those coming-of-age-stories. Unlike, for example, The Crowded Street, which focuses on a young woman’s entire coming-of-age experience, Invitation to the Waltz focuses on just one moment in seventeen-year-old Olivia Curtis’s life: a coming-out ball, the seminal moment in the life of any girl of the period (approximately the 1920s). Olivia is neither the most beautiful nor the most vivacious girl at the party, and she’s apprehensive about the evening and all it entails. This is not one of those “high action” books, but it gives a lot of insight into the thoughts and feelings of a girl making the leap into adulthood. I think if I had read this book ten years ago, I would have completely identified with Olivia—she’s shy and retiring, and unsure of herself. Her dress is…

The Sunday Salon

What a crazy week this has been! My cousin, who’s ten, was in town for most of this past week, and since he’s high energy, it’s taken a lot of energy especially out of my mom, who also had to deal with my 87-year-old grandmother. Plus. my sister was in town for the weekend, so it’s been mostly crazy around here. All of my posts this past week have been scheduled; and I only got around to writing a bunch of outstanding reviews yesterday afternoon. It’s quieter here now that my mom has driven my sister back to New York, and I’ve spent much of today catching up on sleep and, of course, reading. Right now I’m reading one of my Virago Modern Classics: The Rising Tide, by Molly Keane (though it was originally published under her pseudonym MJ Farrell). I’m really loving it; the author really knew how to combine wonderful (sometimes exasperating) characters with a great plot. I’ve been cruising Ebay for more books by Molly Keane, since I’m living her writing style. This is easily one of the b…

Read in 2014

January:
1. Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
2. The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome, by Tony Attwood
3. Mozart and the Whale, by Mary and Jerry Newport
4. Handling the Truth, by Beth Kephart
5. Girl, Interrupted, by Susanna Kaysen
6. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
7. Them, by Joyce Carol Oates
8. Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys

February:
1. Random Family, by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
2. I Was Told There'd Be Cake, by Sloane Crosley
3. The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath
4. Twilight Sleep, by Edith Wharton
5. Twirling Naked in the Streets, by Jeannie Davide-Rivera
6. Hungry Hill, by Daphne Du Maurier
7. Me, Myself, and Why, by Jennifer Ouilette
8. Lady Chatterley's Lover, by DH Lawrence
9. The Wise Virgins, by Leonard Woolf

March:
1. Out With It, by Katherine Preston
2. Never Have I Ever, by Katie Heaney
3. Look me in the Eye, by John Elder Robison
4. Beyond, the Glass, by Antonia White
5. Atypical, by Jesse Saperstein
6. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, by Maggie O'Far…