I listened to the audiotape of this wonderfully descriptive book and thoroughly enjoyed Lynn Redgrave's remarkable narration. She is so good at this! (the only disconcerting thing I found with the tape was the random bursts of overly dramatic music. They seemed so out of place--inserted with no apparent thought given to what was occurring in the narration).
That said, I thought this story was lovely, typical Pilcher fare. One can be pretty sure that all the loose ends will be tied up, that the lost will be found and the bad dealt with in a most genteel manner.
I always appreciate the period details in Pilcher's writing and this was no different. The reader always learns something when reading her books. She manages to entwine historical facts in with a family story in a seamless fashion.
This is the story of Judith Dunbar and in a secondary way, that of Loveday Carey-Lewis, including all of both families (dysfunctional, functional, and in-between!). Covering the years of 1935 (when both girls were 13) through the end of the Second World War, this book was large in scope and in its portrayal of its many interesting characters.
Pilcher does a great job of character development - the reader is quite easily able to identify with the characters who populate this book. The genteel British lifestyle, despite the looming war, is lovingly portrayed.
I agree with the reviewer who thought a sequel would be interesting.