Family and Friends
CASS FIC PIL (Book on cassette)
LP FIC PILCHER (Large print)
Raffish retired actress Elfrida Phipps, still a free spirit at 61, takes on the job of helping her friend Oscar Blundell rebuild his life after he loses his family. Moving to a house he co-owns in northern Scotland, they decide to ignore Christmas, with its painful memories, and celebrate the Solstice with a lamb chop. But plans change when they are joined by Elfrida’s cousin Carrie, recovering from an unhappy love affair, Carrie’s 14-year-old niece Lucy, unwanted by her divorced mother and the grandmother with whom they live, and newly-separated businessman Sam Howard, in the area to restart a woolen mill.
CASS FIC READ (Book on cassette)
Miss Read has been the head teacher at the two-room Fairacre village school for five years, long enough to be accepted by the locals as “Miss Read up the School” instead of “that new woman pushing herself forward.” The new school year starts with the usual nervous new students, grim school cleaner Mrs. Pringle, and much-loved junior teacher Miss Clare, who has bicycled the two miles from her home in Beech Green for 40 years. When Miss Clare collapses, a suitable new teacher must be found to help Miss Read cope with the eternal round of Christmas concert, measles, music festival, and Sports Day.
One day in the life of a Cotswold village, the festive day when the Curdle family fair comes. Ruth Bassett, who has taken refuge at her sister’s after being jilted, somehow feels better after young Dr. Lovell comes to check on her nephew Paul’s rash. Molly Piggot, daughter of the sour sexton, wonders if Ben Curdle will remember her from last year. And the great Mrs. Curdle herself must make some tough decisions about her family and the fair business.
CASS 636.089 HERRIOT (Book on cassette)
All Creatures Great and Small
Newly-qualified as a veterinarian in 1937, Herriot is grateful for the chance of a job, even in the remote Yorkshire town of Darrowby, working for the erratic Siegfried Farnon. As he struggles to overcome the gap between school-learning and actual country working conditions, Herriot gradually earns the respect of the local farmers and the love of a down-to-earth girl.
CASS FIC PYM (Book on cassette)
30-ish Mildred Lathbury, pleased at having her flat in post-war London to herself after her roommate moves out, is content with her quiet life of work for Distressed Gentlewomen in the mornings and church affairs in the afternoons. But her peace is disrupted by the marital problems of her new downstairs neighbors, naval officer Rocky Napier and his anthropologist wife Helena, and by the peculiar behavior of vicar Julian Malory when the lovely Allegra Gray moves into the parish.
R. F. Delderfield
A Horseman Riding By
Young Paul Craddock, wounded in the Boer War, uses money from his late father’s scrap metal business to buy a country estate and becomes “squire” with the help of his agent Rudd, who loves the land as much as Paul does. When Paul’s first wife deserts him for the suffragette cause, he marries the daughter of one of his tenants. Together they raise six children while trying to prevent commercial development of the area.
LP FIC FLAGG (Large print)
Standing in the Rainbow
Neighbor Dorothy Smith hosts a daily radio show from her home in post-war Elmwood Springs, Missouri, featuring her mother-in-law and Beatrice, the Little Blind Songbird, and sometimes inadvertently, her 10-year-old son Bobby, banging the screen door in the background. The Oatman Family Gospel singers form an enduring relationship with the Smiths after an appearance on the show, and shy Betty Raye Oatman marries salesman and up-and-coming politician Hamm Sparks.
Buster Midnight’s Cafe
Three little girls, Whippy Bird, Effa Commander, and May Anna Kovaks, form the inseparable Unholy Three, growing up in tough, Depression-era Butte, Montana. Years later, when May Anna has become glamorous movie star Marion Street, she turns to her old friends when she’s in trouble she can’t handle.
Ann B. Ross
Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind
Miss Julia plans on being just as proper as a rich widow as she was as the town banker’s wife, but that proves impossible when flashy young Hazel Marie shows up on her doorstep with a 9-year-old who is obviously her late husband’s illegitimate son. Trying to do right by the boy, Miss Julia has to find the backbone to stand up to her hypocritical pastor and to thwart Hazel Marie’s shady televangelist uncle.
Mama Makes Up Her Mind: And Other Dangers of Southern Living
Meet Bailey White’s south Georgia family and friends. Come right in, past the Porsche on the porch (next to the bathtub), sit down in the kitchen (watch out for the night crawlers), and have some tea with Mama and neighbors Luther, the 80-year-old taxidermist Mama taught to cook, and Darrell, the wild-haired UFO enthusiast, come to investigate the flying saucer that hovered over Mama’s garden early one morning.
CASS FIC HARUF (Book on cassette)
In small-town Holt, Colorado, high school teacher Tom Guthrie has to deal with a violent student and a spineless administrator while raising his two boys alone after his wife withdraws from their lives. Meanwhile, Tom’s colleague Maggie Jones decides that pregnant 17-year-old Victoria, whose mother has locked her out of the house, should go to live with Harold and Raymond McPheron, laconic elderly farmers who have no experience with women.
Cordelia Underwood, or, The Marvelous Beginnings of the Moosepath League
In 1898, under mysterious circumstances, 23-year-old Cordelia, of Portland, Maine, inherits land in the wild northern part of the state from her sea-faring uncle and sets off to see if her suspicions of hidden treasure are true. Her path crosses that of middle-aged Tobias Walton, home after years of travel, whose life is complicated by Sundry Moss, brother of Varius, and the three eccentric bachelors who form the League, to say nothing of the trick bear.
The Friendly Persuasion
The Civil War-era life of the Quaker Birdwell family of Indiana is told through a collection of short stories. Father Jess, a nurseryman, is constantly trying to circumvent the strict rule of his minister wife Eliza, smuggling a forbidden organ into the house and getting a little too involved in horseracing. A crisis occurs when their son feels the need to abandon pacifism when a battle takes place near their home. After the children are grown and gone, Jess befriends an orphan boy who reminds him of himself when young.
The Rich Part of Life
12-year-old Teddy’s mother died a year ago. Now, unexpected consequences result when his remote professor father Theo wins a $190 million lottery. First, Aunt Bess, who lapses into Greek in times of stress, comes to help. Then, Theo’s brother Frank, on the lam from some tough characters after his latest B movie fails, shows up with actor Sylvanius, a vampire specialist. Finally, Teddy’s mother’s first husband arrives with a questionable claim on the boy.
Big Stone Gap
Ave Maria Mulligan, who inherited her father’s pharmacy in a little Virginia Blue Ridge town, has a busy life as director of the annual drama production and member of the rescue squad. Now the town is in a frenzy of activity preparing for a visit from Elizabeth Taylor, campaigning with her husband John Warner. But a confessional letter from her recently deceased Italian mother forces Ave Maria to reconsider who she is and what she wants.
The Bachelor Brothers’ Bed and Breakfast
50-ish fraternal twins Hector and Virgil run a bed and breakfast on an island off Vancouver, assisted by parrot Mrs. Rochester and cat Waffle, in a house inherited from their late one-of-a-kind mother. The B & B does not advertise; you have to find your way there, a haven for “the gentle and bookish and ever so slightly confused.” Hector, Virgil, and various guests narrate different chapters.
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