This is a historical novel set in Edwardian Yorkshire. It deals with mining and the political issues of the day. The vast gap between the aristocracy and the lower classes starts to crack under the influence of the children of Netherwood Hall. Toby marries the daughter of an American and his young wife invites Russian émigré, Anna, to decorate her rooms. Meanwhile, Eve’s brother giddy with success from trading in bananas, plans to expand into luxury sea travel with the help of his new coal mine. I loved the us of the Yorkshire dialect in the speech all the way through this book.
I’ve always been a huge fan of Gervase Phinn’s writing. He brings together lots of parts which I like such as; humour, English village life and the Yorkshire dialect. This book is a delightful tale of a tiny school on the verge of closure, a new Head Mistress is appointed and great changes are about to take place, but not everyone approves. New friends are made and some old wounds begin to close in this first book in the series.
Over the years I’ve read several books by Gervase. My first was Up and Down in the Dales. I love his tales from Yorkshire and his life as a teacher and then a school inspector. The Yorkshire dialect and humour is brilliant and funny, I’m always laughing out loud when I read his books. This book combines anecdotes and memories as well as a few personal opinions and Yes! I was still laughing.