Official Synopsis from Goodreads: Much has changed in Wandlebury since Barbara Buncle (now Barbara Abbott) first moved to the charming English village. But as the mistress of her own home with two small children to look after, Barbara finds that she has distressingly little time to keep up with the goings-on of her friends and neighbors.
Luckily, Barbara’s niece, Jerry Abbott, is more than willing to keep tabs on the news in Wandlebury. And with juicy tidbits of gossip about everything from inconvenient romantic entanglements to German spies hiding in the woods, there is plenty to keep the two Mrs. Abbotts busy in this humorous account of life in World War II England.
D.E. Stevenson delivers another well-crafted gem with The Two Mrs. Abbotts, the third and final book of the beloved Miss Buncle series.
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Setting: Wandlebury, England approx 1942
My Copy Came From: I purchased a used paperback copy from my local used paperback bookstore, Paperbacks Unlimited.
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Review: Sweet and fun! The Two Mrs. Abbotts by D.E. Stevenson is the third book in the Miss Buncle series set in England in the 1930s and 1940s. This entry is set during WWII in the tiny village of Wandlebury. The Two Mrs Abbotts are Barbara Buncle and Jeronina “Jerry” Abbott. Jerry has married Barbara’s husband, Arthur’s, nephew, Sam, who is off fighting in Africa.
Jerry and Barbara are such a kick. They are so much fun and I loved all of their interactions! While there isn’t a whole lot of plot to the novel, the book is more about life in a country village and reading all of the interactions and excitement the villagers get into. From the visiting romance author, Janetta Walters, who is working on “Love Triumphant”, to the lovelorn rehabilitating RAF pilot Lancreste Marvell, to young Elmie Boles trying to escape her reality, this is a fun, sweet read filled with mischief and joy.
She and Barbara understood each other beautifully. They understood what each other was driving at with a minimum of language. One might have thought, to listen to them talking, that they slipped from one subject to another illogically and without sequence—but it was not so. They merely left things out. Most people’s conversation is like a local train that stops at every station and lingers there for a few moments to allow time for its passengers to embark, but when the two Mrs. Abbotts got together they roared along like an express, missing out all the small unimportant stations in their headlong career.
There’s something so much fun about reading small-town interactions. It’s one of my favorite settings to read about (or watch – Avonlea anyone??). Usually the books I read with this setting feature some sort of murder mystery, but it was quite relaxing to just spend some time in the village of Wandlebury and get immersed in the characters.
Arthur, when consulted, seemed to take the matter very lightly. “Don’t get mixed up in it,” he said.
“But I am mixed up in it,” Barbara pointed out. “The fact is I seem to get mixed up in everything that happens—when all I want is a quiet peaceful life.”
“Of course you do,” agreed Arthur, smiling in his kind way. “It’s because you’re interested in people.”
As this is the third book in the series, you’ll enjoy the characters more if you start at the beginning with Miss Buncle’s Book, a book that we read for my book club and went to a teahouse for tea (and hats!) for our discussion. Each book adds more characters to the mix, and I’m sad that this is it for these characters. Supposedly there is a fourth book to the series, called The Four Graces, but everything I can find out about it says that it hardly has any of the characters from the Miss Buncle books in it, so I’m not sure if I’ll read it or not! Maybe, as I’m sure it will be as charming and fun as The Two Mrs. Abbotts is.
Bottom Line: Sweet and fun!
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