Farewell to Fairacre
By Miss Read
(Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780618154562, 224pp.)
Publication Date: November 2001
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The last novel in the beloved Fairacre series finds Miss Read with important decisions to make. Gradually worsening health forces her to consider an early retirement. John Jenkins, a handsome newcomer, competes for her affections with the newly widowed Henry Mawne. However, Miss Read has more on her mind than men. Orphans living in her former house have bolstered the village school's roll, but these new students seem to be having problems with their adoptive family. In the midst of all this turmoil, readers can rest assured that FAREWELL TO FAIRACRE boasts all the elements they have come to love: eccentric villagers, gentle humor, and a verdant rural landscape teeming with lambs, larks, and blackthorn bushes.
Miss Read (1913-2012) was the pseudonym of Mrs. Dora Saint, a former schoolteacher beloved for her novels of English rural life, especially those set in the fictional villages of Thrush Green and Fairacre. The first of these, Village School, was published in 1955, and Miss Read continued to write until her retirement in 1996. In the 1998, she was awarded an MBE, or Member of the Order of the British Empire, for her services to literature.