The backstory: At the start of 2016, I pulled out my very favorite Miss Read book, Village Centenary. The novel is structured in months and each chapter explores a month in the year of a village school that is celebrating its 100th anniversary. This year, my own school is celebrating its 250th anniversary and as we think of our past and look to our future, I thought that Miss Read would make a lovely companion for me. For each month of 2016, I plan to read Miss Read’s reflection on the month.
Miss Read is a pseudonym for Dora Jessie Saint, an English author who wrote between 1955 and 1996. Her novels were tales of every day life in small English towns. Village Centenary is set in Fair Acre, an imaginary Cotswold community. As is the case in nearly all of the Fair Acre novels, the novel is written in the first person and it is through our narrator, school teacher Miss Read, that the story unfolds.
Miss Read in October
Miss Read’s October is filled with planning for her school’s centennial celebration. She’s also relishing that last days of summer warmth. I feel the same way, enjoying the cooler nights and warmth of a fall quilt, but turning my face toward the sun when the afternoons are warm. I’ve still got my flip flops at the ready but increasingly I come home and look for slippers or socks. The leaves are blowing about and fall is in the air.
After a week of cool weather, today is sunny and warm. Throughout my house, the windows are open so that we can enjoy the air. As October prepares to close out, I'm aware that warm days like this are increasingly rare. So they should be embraced and enjoyed. Miss Read agrees.