I had been looking for this book for ages and had to end up getting it from the internet. My other Thirkell books are all original old hardbacks but this one is a modern paperback from 1983 but the book was first published in 1934.
This one is mainly about the Leslie family and I was really glad that it featured the character of Lady Emily Leslie because she’s often mentioned in the later books as quite a few females in the Rushwater area have been called after her. She’s a much loved grande dame who is exasperating to everyone, particularly the vicar, but her charm and endearing scattiness allow her to get away with her eccentric behaviour.
Her son, David Leslie, is the youngest of her children and he’s a bit of a rake really. He has his mother’s charm but is using it in an entirely masculine way and has the young women just about fighting over him. Not that David cares, he’s only interested in himself and his plans to write a novel – or make a film – or join the BBC …!
Mary Preston has fallen for David so hard that she doesn’t realise that his brother John has fallen for her. John’s wife had died after only one year of marriage and after being a widower for over seven years it comes as a surprise to him that he can think of another woman again.
This is a typical Thirkell comfort read. The back cover says it is a delightful classic of the Thirties, and I agree with that.
Sir Compton Mackenzie said: ‘It is a novel of laughter with just enough sincere emotion… I have never recommended a novel about which I felt so certain that everybody would enjoy every page of it.’