The cover of “Miss Buncle’s Book” with the flirtatious woman of the 1930’s caught my eye immediately. I was surprised to learn that the novel was written in 1934 because the writing was modern and approachable. There was a sophistication about each sentence that evoked the prim social setting of Miss Buncle’s village, Silverstream, without being overly dense. Pressed for money, Miss Buncle decides to write a book about the inhabitants of Silverstream, but lacking imagination, the novel is too close to the truth for the town. Much of what follows is the townspeople attempting to learn who the author of the book is.
The plot was a peaks and valley type of book. There wasn’t one big climax, rather, the plot was constantly evolving and loosely touched on the lives of many characters. I normally wouldn’t have liked this format, but here, it worked very well. The novel was filled with a variety of characters that all made up a piece of a wonderfully entertaining book. The book within a book element was actually very comical. Especially when the author is writing reviews for Miss Buncle’s book that were also like a review for the actual book. The people depicted in the book do start to act as Miss Buncle depicts them but not in a “Bedtime Stories” prophetic type of way. Instead, when the people see themselves through the eyes of the author they realize their faults and are made aware of the potential life they could have. They make conscious decisions to change for the better. This allowed the theme of living one’s life to the fullest to be reinforced with each character.
This was an enjoyable light read. I actually purchased this book, and it was money well spent.