Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Village Diary by Miss Read

After the extremely enjoyable Village School, I made sure to pick up the second book in the series - Village Diaries - the next time I went to the library. Much like the first book, Village Diaries is another year-round account of Miss Read's life as the headmistress of the school at Fairacre. While much of the year is the same, a reunion with an old friend and a newcomer to the village provide plenty of drama.

Many familiar characters appear in this book, such as Joseph Coggs, Mr Willet, and Mrs Pringle, with a few new characters appearing. Most of the book is told from Miss Read's point of view, as she is the one chronicling everything in her new journal. Luckily for us, someone told her about Jim Waites' trap for Arthur Coggs (Joseph's father) because that account of an unsuccessful theft was hilarious. I did miss hearing from Mrs Coggs, Joseph, and the other characters, though. I thought they added a nice amount of variety, since Miss Read can't possibly be everywhere.

I mentioned in my previous review that the book doesn't shy away from mentions about difficult situations. While this book still remains light, there is considerably more discussion about less happy topics, such as funding issues for rural schools, sexism, and even domestic abuse. In the first few pages, there's even talk about how "civility... was a vital necessity to a wage-earner". Sadly, these things seem to be taken as normal by most people.

Overall, Village Diaries manages to keep the same charming and cozy tone as the first book, while managing to introduce a bit more about the hardships of life in that particular period of time. I am definitely looking forward to reading more from this series.

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