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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 18 June 2010
I don't often review things, but have just finished this book and loved it. So pleased it was revived for re-publication. Yes its showing its age a little, but I thought it was lovely. Interesting to read something that is 'historical' but written at the time rather than a modern take on it. Bits I found fascinating were thinking a house was too large to manage with 'just' two maids (and a cook, and a governess). And the fact that the children don't feature much in the story, because they are cared for by the governess all day (or away at boarding school). A different time, but a lovely account of it, and I liked that it was based on a genuine diary. I'll be buying the rest of the Bloomsbury books, buying this as a gift for friends, and trying to find her other books.
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on 10 March 2011
I'm on a bit of a DE Stevenson crusade at the moment, having only recently 'discovered' her writing. So far, I think Miss Buncle's Book is my favourite but Mrs Tim of the Regiment is a close second and I am looking forward to reading the subsequent Mrs Tim books - if I can find them!
This one, based, apparently, on D E Stevenson's own diary of her life as an army officer's wife is a lovely read and highly entertaining. She has a very acute eye for people's character traits and all their little foibles. Not a great deal happens in this in terms of plot but the characters are so wonderful it is a delight reading about them - a bit like eavesdropping on several people's lives. I do hope publishers waken up to the fact D E Stevenson has a legion of fans who snap up re-prints of her books. Reviewed by Mary Smith author of No More Mulberries
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on 23 June 2011
If you like The Diary of a Provincial Lady (Virago Modern Classics) I bet you'll love this. Based on DE Stevenson's own diaries as a regimental wife it has that same innocent charm - and common ground in its celebration of domestic trivia for married women of all generations.
There are parallels between the two books: so while the provincial lady agonises about the lady of the manor's put downs about her hyacinth bulbs, and gossips with the vicar's wife, the regimental lady worries about putting the colonel's wife's nose out of joint and makes friends with the "regimental bride" (shades of Amelia Sedley in Vanity Fair). But the differences between the two (and from modern life) are fascinating - the regimental wife is regularly looking for new staff and accomodation in strange towns as her husband is shifted around at short notice and is trying to make her way in new social groups where the provincial ladies often say its not worth being friends as she'll be off again in a few years.
And it has that "past is another country" charm;as another reviewer notes, it is slightly bizare to the modern reader to see a strapped for cash captain's wife with a maid, a nanny and a cook! Also modern mothers really would consider Mrs Tim apallingly hands off - her holiday is largely spent on jolly jaunts with adult friends while others take care of her little girl (the slightly older boy - 8 ish?) is at boarding school, of course; and when the spectre of an Indian posting looms, Mrs Tim would have parked her youngest in boarding school like a shot ...
For all its differences and strangenesses however, it is primarily a comfortable happy book - focussing on the little pleasures of the domestic life and friendship. A pleasure to read. Now, off to find the sequels ....
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on 19 July 1997
The book about Mrs.Tim is still fun and reads like a contemporary diary even 60 some years after its original publication in Great Britain. Its almost comforting to know that even though times change, people do not. I discovered this book when I was a teenager and still enjoy Mrs. Tim's (actually D.E. Stevenson's) wit and wisdom today.
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on 1 April 2010
This book has been out of print for many years, although it can be found used for quite high prices. I found it very charming, both for the charm of the heroine (based on the life of the author) and the feeling of the pre-WW2 life of an army officer's wife. The book is a series of vignettes of the period, connected or isolated. The book was re-issued recently by Bloomsbury publishers. There are three more in the series - I hope they will all be reissued. One warning: the title varies from edition to edition. I recently bought an audio book entitled "Golden Days" which, although described as "unabridged" was in fact the second part of this book.
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on 6 January 2016
I read all these books years ago, & had a yen to read them again. Sadly , this is the only one now available on kindle ( c'mon Bloomsbury, dig the others out of your archives). It's a lovely book, humorously written. An old fashioned read, very much of it's time. Hester, Tim, Betty & the enigmatic Tony Morley leap off the page as real life people you would love to have known. Old friends revisited.
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on 28 February 2014
I remember reading D.E. Stevenson's books in my teens and I loved them so it is good to see them back in
print. I don't have a kindle and don't particularly want one so to see that they are printing the books too
is a bonus. I do hope they print a lot more and not just for Kindle users. I have bought books from Aphrohead before
and they have always given a good service so I shall continue to do so where possible.
.
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on 26 January 2015
I have quite a lot of D E Stevenson's books and already had the other three in the Mrs Tim set. Absolutely delighted to have obtained this copy, it lived up to my expectations. Although it was described as a second hand book, the quality was as if it was brand new
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on 7 August 2010
I bought this book with some reservations, imagining an account of mindless social occasions, dated language and stiff dialogue. I was laughing by the second page, and couldn't put the book down. What a beatifully, honestly written reflection of a life-style which is still the same in many ways for wives of more junior officers.
The author has a mischievious whit, informing us that Bryan, her son, tried to say "Butter" with his mouth full leading to "disastrous results". The agonies of sending her son to boarding school and having to borrow china from her nieghbours for meals with other officers makes Hester feel human and lovable, but with a determined, unflappable core.
Cherish each line you read; a treat as rare as this comes along very infrequently.
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VINE VOICEon 11 September 2014
The Bloomsbury Group are republishing books "worth re-reading", and having read and much enjoyed the oddity that is Miss Hargreaves by Frank Baker, from the same publisher, I was looking forward to reading this. D E Stevenson is the author of Miss Buncle's Book - a Persephone re-publication, about a woman who writes a book which describes, under other names, all the characters in the village she has moved into, writing under a man's name for secrecy. I enjoyed Miss Buncle's Book a lot, and started on this with anticipation.

I can't say that I didn't like it, but I found it a book of two halves. It's written in the form of diary entries which is a style I like if done well. Mrs Tim is an officer's wife, with two children, who like true army wives in the 1930s, has to move at the behest of the Army - wherever the Major is sent, Mrs Tim must follow. And so, whilst liking her current home and the area very much, she is rather disappointed when Tim announces that he has a new posting, and it will be for three years in a very small town in Scotland. Some of the diary entries are very short, and some rather longer, but she has a wonderful shorthand way of talking to her diary, which made for an amusing read..........until half way through the book. And then, suddenly, the diary style became a different thing altogether, when she was invited to spend some time at the holiday home of an interesting woman she met when she first went to Scotland. It then became much more ordinary to me and although chapter headings were still diary dates, the month of June was stretched out and the style was entirely different. It seemed that the book had been laid aside and then finished perhaps some years later - and even by someone else! I think that is not the case. I think it was intentional - but it took the shine off it for me. She did, in fact, write 4 Mrs Tim novels which at their publication were all very popular, and indeed, D E Stevenson based all these on her own diary, she being an Army wife.

Please don't let me put you off. Indeed, I would be pleased to see comments from anyone else who has read or who reads this one.
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