Miss Buncle is a spinster in the little English village of Silverstream – the kind of person that everyone knows, and secretly pities, because she seems to have such a drab life. But Miss Buncle has a secret – she’s written a book, recasting Silverstream as the village of Copperfield, and showcasing all of the foibles of the villagers.
In the book, called Disturber of the Peace, Cupid makes an appearance in the second half, throwing the village into an uproar, and making people behave as they really want. In real life, the appearance of the book is that event. Certain people take it very badly, because they were cast badly in the book (and not for no reason – they’re generally unpleasant people). Others are guided into doing things they would not have thought of, but which will make them happier, better people in the end.
This was a fun book – Miss Buncle is a real innocent going into things, and watching her grow as her book is dissected by the other people of Silverstream is amusing. It’s also funny to see what people end up doing. In some cases, Miss Buncle is very prescient about what they’ll do if given a chance, but in other cases, they surprise her.
Part of the reason I bought this book on special (it’s on my Kindle) is that it was compared to a Jane Austen comedy of manners. I wouldn’t quite put it in that company, but it’s definitely a contender.