Top positive review
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A bygone time that brings 1950's village life alive.
on 20 July 2008
Miss Read, is an unmarried head-teacher in a small village school. The two classrooms at Fairacre School take all the village children from age five until they are eleven. There is no running water in either the school or the schoolhouse where Miss Read lives, and toilets for the school children, consists of a wooden seat on a large bucket. For the villagers of Fairacre, busses run three times a week to the nearby market town.
Things may sound rather desperate in Fairacre when compared to our modern lives, where kids expect the newest fashions and expensive gismos, and we as adults expect to jump in a car and drive to the nearest supermarket to buy a weeks shopping.
For me however 1950's Fairacre brings back a lot of memories of being educated in a village school in Britain during the early 1970's. When Miss Read describes the ecclesiastical architecture of the school with its arched windows letting in light but at the same time being too high off the ground to see out of. I just close my eyes and I am instantly transported to my schoolroom when I was seven years old. I can still smell the polish from the wood floor and the soap in the cloakroom where our coats and satchels hung on pegs with our little towels and homemade "Dap Bags" containing our footwear for PE.
Miss Read is a keen observer of village life, nature, and the changing seasons. The village school life unfolds with gentle humour and insightful social commentary. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys social comedy. Some of the children who feature in this book go on to be lifelike characters in later books. Joseph Coggs is my favourite of the children who announces at the end of his first day in the "babies class"; that the toys and the clay were fun, but his favourite bit was dinner time.
With Village School you enter a bygone time that brings 1950's village life alive.