CONSTABLE AROUND THE VILLAGE by Nicholas Rhea

CONSTABLE AROUND THE VILLAGE

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A second cheery swig of stout (if a mite stiff-shouldered) from the author of Constable on the Hill (1979). Constable Rhea's recital of his Yorkshire rounds (some time back, one would guess) ranges from the treacly to the genuinely tragic: from the tale of a lad, caught stealing apples for his horse, who is befriended by a lonely spinster, to the vignette of a dog lover forced, by false rumor, to put down his beloved pet. There are illustrations of Yorkshire thrift, of the triumphs and perils of the ecumenical movement. (Catholics, Methodists, and Anglicans together fill a church to help the worried vicar when a bishop's visit impends; yet Catholic pallbearers are forced to trudge hopelessly looking for a missing grave dug by an anti-Papist Anglican.) There is the ordeal of ""First Footing"" on New Year's Eve--as Constable Rhea, ever-obliging, becomes increasingly unsteady on his rounds. Generally, he takes an easygoing approach to miscreants: a bus driver for whom one hundred packages of eggs represent a legal ""parcel""; an old codger who won't pay taxes (and splurges on non-confiscatable goods); even a dog who plays deaf to avoid work. And he includes a racy yarn about a formidable bus ""conductoress"" who mistakes a thoroughly decent sort as a bus flasher--and for an extraordinary reason. With manly asides, and a generous sampling of local speech, a stoutly brogued journey through rural Yorkshire folkways and byways.

Pub Date: Sept. 2nd, 1982
Publisher: St. Martin's