Miss Read, aka Dora Jessie Saint, wrote many books, many of which are in series. I am currently reading her books chronologically in the order that they were written. Which means I am reading both the Fairacre series, and now the Thrush Green series. The following is my book review of Thrush Green, which is also posted on Goodreads.
Note: I am also reading Jan Karon’s Mitford series, which I understand was inspired by the writing of Miss Read. The caption on the cover of Thrush Green says, “If you’ve ever enjoyed a visit to Mitford, you’ll relish a visit to Thrush Green.” –Jan Karon
Thrush Green by Miss Read
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Library copy, not Kindle, a hard copy.
This is definitely not a favorite. I’ve read a good number of Miss Read’s books, and loved most of them. This one not so much, and here’s why.
Number one reason is that there’s some language in it. I prefer the books where the point of view is the schoolteacher’s, presumably the author’s, in which there is no language. In this book I would prefer to have the language referred to rather than spoken explicitly.
Number two, I didn’t connect with any of the characters. They are a rough lot, and with the point of view being the all-knowing narrator, there is not much filtering in the story. The characters are who they are.
Finally, it was oddly written, all taking place in one day, with reflections back to fill in the characters. Perhaps this is what makes the book difficult to connect to, as there are many characters to get to know in such a short time. The layers are there, in Ruth and the old doctor and Mrs. Curdle and young Ben Curdle; the process of passing the baton to the next generation.
I also found it unimaginable that the Curdles lived in such a tiny caravan while raising eight children!
I’m curious how the other Thrush Green books will be, as it appears to be such a small part of the town. I hope they aren’t as disappointing as this first one.