This collection of 13 short stories had a few gems, but was mostly just average for me. These were published in magazines in the 1970’s & 80’s and they seemed a little dated to me. But maybe all of these stories of life in English villages added this feeling. I have read one Pilcher book and thought it was good but not great, so maybe she’s just not my taste.
My favorite story was Amita. This story of prejudice was told from the perspective of a young girl, a perspective adults should consider more often. Kids don’t understand prejudice, unless they hear it from their family members or even peers. This was the bias of the English against mixed marriages with Indians and the little English girl fell in love with the beautiful Indian woman who had married her neighbor. We have different prejudices here, but aren’t all prejudices the same at the core?
I also liked Gilbert. This was the story of a bachelor who married a widow with two young girls. He was excited to have a ready-made family, but had yet to make a real connection with the older girl. When Gilbert the goldfish died he had the chance to show his mettle. The girl’s reaction the death and the idea of a funeral was the most funny part of the whole book.
Tea with the Professor was a sweet love story. The Before Christmas Present was a great story about a woman finding her own power past that of a wife and mother. These four stories were all a delight to read, but the only ones out of the 13 that I gave an A or B. I’m guessing that if you enjoy Pilcher you would enjoy these stories more than I did. And I’ll be offering this as one of my free books for May, so stop by on May 1st if you want a chance to win it.
This book was given to me by my friend Jessica years ago and I finally got around to reading it!