Miss Purdy's Class Paperback – 1 Mar 2012
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An astounding novel from the author of the bestselling Birmingham sagas, Chocolate Girls and Water Gypsies
About the Author
Annie Murray was born in 1961 in Berkshire, and graduated from St John's College, Oxford. Her first novel, Birmingham Rose was published in 1995. This has been followed by several other bestselling Birmingham sagas including, The Narrowboat Girl, Chocolate Girls and Water Gypsies.
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Top Customer Reviews
You know, I read all these reviews before I purchased the book, and hoped your review might be wrong - I was really interested in the book and being a Brummie and all, but your review was spot on - I was left a little baffled, the book was really well written, but I honestly couldn't care less about the political stuff. Miss Purdy said she didn't like teaching at the start, and then somehow transformed the lives of the kids - I couldn't see how she became so inspirational when she was more concerned with her love life.
The students were really interesting, but most of the book was set outside of the school which I felt was a bit of a shame, the teachers that worked with Miss Purdy felt really 2D. It would have been nice to learn about the type of things that were taught in the 30's (only history and maths are ever mentioned), some more development of the teachers and students too.
The little boy Joe's story was awful, but not much of his voice is heard. The book is written so we find out what happened to him from the viewpoint of other people, but he seemed such a main character that there should have been more insight into how he was coping with everything that happens - he just plods through the book really.
He was indifferent to Miss Purdy and then left school due to a lot of problems, but then calls out her name when he is ill towards the end of the book - he didn't even have much to do with Miss Purdy... And though it is mentioned she helped him, I think there should have been more conversations between the two so we could see the relationship more.
Overall, while I think that the author has a nice writing style - I couldn't put the book down last night!, I was disappointed when I finished it.Read more ›
I longed to read more of Joey Phillip's character because he packed more sorrow and suffering into his little life than Miss P could ever hope to cope with. That the child 'dreamed' of Miss P whilst he lay starving and delirious seemed totally unrealistic. The woman hadn't done much to make a difference to his sad little life.
I also think Miss P's fellow teaching colleague, Lily Drysdale, should have had a much bigger part in the book - she certainly had more about her than wishy-washy Miss P and, indeed, if it hadn't been for Lily, then Joey and his family probably wouldn't have appeared on Miss P's emotional radar at all. Even the scatty landlady Ariadne had a certain sparkle and charm!
From a historical perspective, the story told us a lot about the Communist Party and the hardship of the miners in the Welsh pit villages in the 1930s but again, the character of Daniel, Miss P's squeeze and 'fighter for the cause of justice for the poor of his homeland' was totally unlikeable and I had no sympathy for him whatsoever.
Still, I did finish the book so it had something going for it!
This isn't a bad book of this type - I did enjoy it on the whole. It was a bit predicatable & I could see the course that the book was going to take from the outset. As each character or situation was introduced I had a fair idea what was going to happen. However for all it's predictability it was well written with reasonable characters with some depth. I did feel that one or two of Miss Purdy's arguments didn't quite hold water & there was a definite situation where she was "the pot calling the kettle black" which the author failed to comment upon.
If you like this sort of book then this is worth reading. If you don't generally read this style but want to give it a go then you could do a lot worse than try this one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really enjoyed it but I thought in some places it went on a bit about the revolution etc.Published 4 months ago by Mary Hunt
Annie Murray is so easy and compelling to read, always a page turnerPublished 9 months ago by Mrs. Linda A. Hannon