The world lost a wonderful writer today, though at 98 you can hardly say she died young. Dora Jessie Saint, aka Miss Read, was one of my favorite authors. Her stories, almost all depicting English village life, were written between 1955 and 1996. As you can imagine, there was a great deal of societal change over those years, and Miss Read did not ignore it, but demonstrated that good character and old-fashioned virtues never change.
Her stories are not exciting, they have little action and less plot. Yet they are delightful, a refreshment to the soul, like a long walk through the countryside with spring all around, or a cool breeze through a garden on a warm summer day.
Miss Read has been described as the Jan Karon of England. I enjoyed reading the Mitford books, but that comparison is wrong on so many levels. Not only do Fairacre and Thrush Green predate Mitford by decades, but as a writer Miss Read is immeasurably the superior.
(H/T to DSTB for the news.)