Miss Buncle’s Book

BuncleIf you need a mental break during this difficult time in our lives, allow me to introduce you to the writings of DE Stevenson. I began with Miss Buncle’s Book and just finished Miss Buncle Married. The Buncle stories are just one of several series of books Stevenson wrote, beginning back in 1923. She published 50-some books before she died in 1973, and several were published posthumously.

Miss Barbara Buncle (the first book came out in 1934) lived a quiet life in a small English village. She was a simple “spinster” in her 30s, largely ignored by the townspeople. Low on funds, she sat down and wrote a bestseller! Her book was little more than observations of her fellow residents, many of whom were obsessed with their own self-importance. The Disturber of the Peace was written under a nom de plume (John Smith!) and she changed all the names, barely, but it was obvious they were the subjects of book and of some ridicule. An uproar ensued, but they never guessed that someone as quiet and boring as Barbara could have written such a story. Barbara became a wealthy woman when the sequel was published, and she ultimately left town.

What a fun tale this is and such good writing. It’s not heavy reading, reminding me of the Miss Marple stories or the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency books. Just stories about people, how they see themselves and how others perceive them.

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