Barbara Buncle, a spinster from the village of Silverstream, has run out of money. The income from her investments has almost dried up, and she simply must have something to live on. In spite of her belief that she has ‘no imagination’ she resolves to write a book, and is surprised to find that it is accepted by the first publisher she submits it to.
‘Disturber of the Peace’ by John Smith becomes an instant success…except in Silverstream, where the residents are disturbed by the close similarities between the residents of ‘Copperfield’ and themselves. Many are shocked to find their true natures drawn in black and white for all to see, and those who are most offended stir up the village to find the man who would dare to write such ‘filth’. On the other hand, there are some people who, far from being offended, actually start acting more like the ‘Copperfield’ versions of themselves.
This is a light-hearted and engaging read, which, I suppose due to the similar tone and use of language, reminded me of Enid Blyton for adults. It is “a book about a woman who wrote a book about a woman who wrote a book”… I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the ‘drawing-room farce’ genre, and I’m looking forward to reading the sequels, Miss Buncle Married and The Two Mrs Abbots.