Year of Publication: 1987 (this edition printed in 1989)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Series: Thrush Green #9
Genre: British Literature
Strong Point: The coziness of the characters and the atmosphere.
Weak Point: There is not really a lot of action per se. But in this book, that is ok.
Books on Tour Rating: (3/5)
Goodreads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4.26/5)
WHAT IT SAYS IN THE BLURB
Change is the only constant, even in Thrush Green. Dorothy Watson and Agnes Fogerty have been teachers forever, but now they’re talking about retirement. The village is worried who can fill their shoes? In other, equally pressing matters, the Lovelock sisters may fire their domestic help, and everyone’s abuzz about that mysterious architectural student.
REVIEW OF “THE SCHOOL AT THRUSH GREEN”
If I had to choose the words which best describe this novel, “British coziness” would be the ones I’d use.
I haven’t directly chosen this book. It was included in one of the lovely monthly boxes of the people at “Prudence and the Crow”.
It is a book that hadn’t it been chosen by them, I am quite sure I wouldn’t have bought it myself. But I am very happy to have read it.
At first, I didn’t know anything about the author nor the book. However, as I was reading it, the heart-warming story helped me a lot during March 2020, when we started the lockdown because of the pandemic.
“The School At Thrush Green” is number 9 in the series called “Thrush Green”. Nevertheless, you do not need to have read the other 8 books beforehand to understand “what is going on” in the book. Because there is not really a lot going on.
The book tells the story of two elderly ladies, Dorothy Watson and Agnes Fogerty, both teachers at a school which is directly attached to where they both live. However, because of their advanced age, they are thinking about retirement.
They decided to look for a house in a small town by the sea. There, they can continue living together after they had left the school.
“Problems” appear when Dorothy thinks it is a good idea to buy a car, although Agnes is not much interested in it. Adding up to this, Agnes wants to adopt a cat that keeps coming to their garden, but Dorothy is not happy with the idea. There you have the conflict and the drama! 😉
CHARACTERS AND SCENERY IN THRUSH GREEN
Although Dorothy and Agnes are the main characters, there is a whole collection of secondaries which contribute to the general snugness of the story: Dorian, the woman who helps them with the house, the Lovelock sisters, Winnie Bailey and Richard, her nephew, Tom, etc. They are all very well built up and cuddly.
Furthermore, the passing by of the weeks, the descriptions of the scenery, the gardens the characters take care of (and almost pamper) and the habits and rituals of every one of them make you smile and enjoy every single page of the book. “Enjoy the little things”, they say, right?
The focal point is put in the community itself, not in the “outside world”. We are not told about facts outside Thrush Green, mostly. The focus is put in the local.
Even more, when you finish the book, you don’t want to say goodbye to them. You want to continue knowing what will happen to them, and in which situations they will be involved…
FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT “THE SCHOOL AT THRUSH GREEN”
If you are looking for a book to read where there is a lot of action and movement, this is not the book for you.
This book is special because of the calmness and tranquility that radiates out of its pages. The plot is more about routines and feelings than facts and actions. Nothing is very dramatic, although some things are felt like that by such an elderly couple as the one formed by the two protagonists. In the peacefulness and warmth realm, “The School at Thrush Green” is a winner.
To sum up: this is not a plot-driven story but a comfort reading. And a warm and cozy one.