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A 35th appearance for the author, who, here, takes leave of Friends of Thrush Green (1991) to chronicle neighborly doings in the English village of Fairacre and changes in the career of schoolmistress Miss Read, who narrates. The ""changes"" of the title are those inevitably experienced by people attuned to the millstream pace of a rural community where change comes with a creep as well as a hang. But change does come. Now in the village, farm workers are few and cottages are being bought by ""tinkers"" (young couples with two incomes, no kids); the quiet streets of neighboring towns are choked with traffic; and shawls and ponchos are favored over the essential country cardigan. But, worst of all, the number of village children in Miss Read's school has dwindled to the point where closure is threatened. Some things, however, never change: Miss Read's stout housekeeper, Mrs. Pringle, continues her tirades; the harvest fair and fete remain cherished events; Miss Read mentally corrects, as ever, double negatives uttered by the yeomanry; and seasonal galas like daffodils and other spring beauties lift the heart. As to new events: Miss Read's dear old friend dies, and Miss Read takes leave of her old house; friend Amy, with whom she takes a welcome holiday, has a problem with a moat unwelcome guest; and there are some rampagings of nature--a snowstorm and a hurricane. For the devoted following: a soothing oasis of tidy living for the frazzled reader weary of an untidy world. As always, there are the line drawings by John S. Goodall.

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 1992
ISBN: 0618154574
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin