A selection of favourite titles chosen by the readers of Evergreen
All the way from Scottsbluff, Nebraska, in the Great Plains region of the United States of America, came a letter from Mrs. Bunni Slater who lives with her husband in a retirement centre there. Over the years the couple have travelled extensively around the United Kingdom, and during all their visits Bunni has enjoyed discovering our country’s writers as much as she has relished exploring the towns, villages and picturesque countryside. She tells me that in 1989 she began recording the books she read: her list of mysteries alone stands at 1,100 authors, 604 of whom are British.
One of her favourite writers is Edinburgh- born novelist D. E. Stevenson ( 1892- 1973), and in particular her Miss Buncle series of books: Miss Buncle’s Book ( 1934), Miss Buncle Married ( 1936) and The Two Mrs. Abbotts ( 1943). They have recently been republished by Persephone Books, who describe Miss Buncle’s Book on their website:
“Barbara Buncle, who is unmarried and perhaps in her late 30s, lives in a small village and writes a novel about it in order to try and supplement her meagre income. In this respect she is at one with Miss Pettigrew and Miss Ranskill, two other unmarried women who, not having subsumed their existence into that of a man, have to find a way of looking after themselves. There are some serious moments, for example when the doctor’s children are, very briefly, kidnapped ( as a way of trying to force their mother to admit that she wrote the book; which she did not). But the seriousness is minimal — mostly this is an entirely light- hearted, easy read.”