illustration by J.S. Goodall showing 2 friends sat on a garden bench

Friends at Thrush Green by Miss Read

We have moved!!!! It was a very emotional start to the week, saying farewell (but not goodbye!!) to friends and neighbours, a slight delay at the Solicitors and sorting removals, but we did it and made it into to our new home. Everyone has been so friendly, with offers of cups of tea and information about village facilities. On the day we moved we were delighted to discover that a chip van called in the village, announcing its arrival with a toot of the horn and covered in fairy lights. So we treated ourselves to a bag of fish and chips with curry sauce. Boxes are slowly being unpacked and I am about to make a start today on the books!

In the meantime, I'm bringing you October's choice in the #MissReadReadAlong which is Friends at Thrush Green. And there is plenty going on in this novel. As you know I have been reading the Thrush Green novels in order, one a month for the challenge. The members then discuss them as part of our group. It's a lovely way to pass the year. And in case you have missed any, here are the ones I have read so far.

I'm starting to feel a little sad as the year draws to a close and we start to run out of Thrush Green books to read. But we are already plotting what next year is going to look like.

The Plot (from the back of the Book)

Thrush Green is buzzing with gossip, which everyone is keen to share with two ex-schoolteachers, who have returned to visit their friends in the village.
The old schoolhouse has just been sold and the villagers are eager to welcome the new owners, The Lesters. Alan Lester seems to be perfectly pleasant, but rumours soon circulate about his wife Margaret.
Equal cause for speculation is the odd behaviour of long-standing resident Bertha Lovelock. And what of farmer Percy Hodge? Can he really be contemplating marriage to the rather wayward Doreen Lilly?

My Thoughts

Like I said at the start there is plenty going on with this novel and this also seems to reflect that the times, 'they are a-changin'. One of the beloved residents, Bertha Lovelock's behaviour becomes increasingly erratic, choosing to horde all the precious items in the house in her room and deciding to change her will suddenly. While her behaviour suggests she may have Alzheimers, the Lovelock's friends and community rally round the sisters. Charles Henstock, the kindest vicar, young Justin Venables, now in his 70's provides legal advice and the team at the Fuchsia Bush cafe deal with Bertha's behaviour sensitively and kindly.

Indeed friends are to feature throughout the book as a theme for long-standing and new residents, The Lesters. It soon becomes apparent that all is not well with Mrs Lester and suspicions are confirmed when it is discovered that she is an alcoholic. Again the village comes to the Lester's aid, providing a friendly word or care for the children as the family are taken under the wing of the village.

In a busy time, Miss Read remains my go to comfort author. The pace is gentle, the humour wry and the observances have often reflected events in my own life.

The books comes to a satisfying conclusion and I'm already looking forward to the 11th book in the series, Celebrations at Thrush Green.