I'm sliding this post in under the wire for Persephone Reading Weekend, I hope. We spent most of the weekend in town with my parents-in-law, which allowed me to read but not to blog. I had hoped to get through three Persephones, but sadly only managed one and a half; fortunately the one was very much worthwhile. Miss Buncle's Book, by D.E. Stevenson, reminded me a great deal of my first Persephone read, Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day. Both are the sort of novel that I wish was still written nowadays--perfect, sweet, charming, and delightful. They are not at all "realistic", but are lovely daydream-like stories where everything turns out for the best and everyone (well, nearly) is happy at the end.
Miss Buncle is a spinster living in an English village, who turns to writing when her inheritance begins to run out. Knowing nothing but the people around her, she spins a tale that is not exactly fiction; every character in her novel is easily recognizable as one or other of her neighbors. To her surprise, the novel is snapped up by the first publisher to whom she sends it, and even more to her surprise, it is consequently read by the very people who feature (not so favorably) within it. No one suspects Miss Buncle as the pseudonymous author, but certain members of the village are very determined to uncover the secret.