I hadn’t read this one in years and had forgotten how entertaining it is!
Mrs. Tim, (Hester Christie), a British Army wife, goes through ups and downs from life at the barracks to life in Scotland, as they are transferred and Tim gets a promotion. Her anecdotes about housekeeping, servants, organizing the home and dealing with new neighbors (in between raising her two children, Betty and Bryan), are so fun to read!
There are dinner parties, afternoon teas, awkward social situations, and ultimately, Hester is called upon to assist in breaking up a less-than-desirable match between a friend’s only son and his trendy girlfriend.
“He is really a very nice man, though a trifle too scurrilous for my liking.”
“Scurrilous!’ gasps Mrs. McTurk.
“It just means very talkative,” explains Mrs. Falconer kindly. “Dear Papa used such long words, and us girls got into the habit of saying them, just from hearing him – much to Mama’s horror. Poor Mama was always telling us we would never get husbands if we used such long words. It was not fashionable to be clever in my young days. Poor dear Mama was always telling us about it. “Let your conversation be yea yea and nay nay” she used to say. That’s out of the Bible, of course, so I’ve no doubt it is very good advice, but if we all did that, and went about saying “yea yea and nay nay” we should look rather silly, and there would not be any conversation at all.”
“Mrs. Tim of the Regiment”, according to the background note, was based on Stevenson’s own diary that she kept while married to a young Army officer. D.E. Stevenson writes with humor, and her observations upon life in general and upon her neighbors are a treat to read!
“Meet Mrs. Benson on the way home; she is coming to see me to lend me a ‘Little book” which is so wonderful – she knows it will help me to bring up the dear children. I accept it with gratitude and spend the afternoon studying its pages.
According to this book I have been sowing the seeds of complexes and cultivating inhibitions in Bryan and Betty ever since they were a few months old. Feel much worried about this, but decide that it is too late now to do anything, and that Bryan and Betty must just take their chance.”