I noticed a quality of looking at life akin to Elizabeth von Arnim's Elizabeth series, which I loved.
Mrs. Tim writes in her diary from the period of January to June detailing the daily life she lives paying particular attention to the eccentric characters surrounding her and the humorous events that can happen in simple village life. Then Mrs. Tim's life is unsettled as the Captain is transferred to a posting in Scotland to work away from the Regiment and Mrs. Tim finds herself living within a civilian community in a new country where she must start all over again (as is the way in army life) meeting new people and learning new ways. Then Hester is invited to stay with her neighbour at her cottage by the sea for a fortnight and finds they've been followed by the dashing Major Morley who delights in spending his time courting Mrs. Tim. I love epistolary books, this one being a series of diary entries, one point being they are so fast to read. Mrs. Tim of the Regiment is laugh out loud hilarious and if I had to choose one Bloomsbury Group book for you to read this would be the one.
It is comparable to the Miss Read books.
It reminded me slightly of Denis Mackail's Greenery Street; another book set in a similar area which simply covers the day-to-day life of married couple without much in the way of a plot - again, it's all about the writing.
There are a handful of books in which I want to claim the characters as friend: Anne Shirley, Flavia de Luce, Nancy Drew, Bertie Wooster, Jay Gatsby, and Lucy Pevensie readily come to mind. This book has launched me on a D.E. Stevenson binge read. The best parts of the book are truly when her husband is away and her interactions with the other characters in the novel. (I think that's what the kids are hopefully still calling it these days...) I completely "ship" Hester Christie and Major Tony Morley.
Re-read March, 2017 Mrs. Tim had to be part of my road trip of books in preparation for my upcoming UK trip. Am irresistibly reminded of Mrs. Palmer's fulminations on the egregious Willoughby, but realise that Grace is too upset to see the humour of it so content myself with making soothing noises." Or just her everyday thoughts on life: "Am wildly excited all day at the prospect of Tim's return as I have not seen him for a whole week. Spend the day tidying up and putting fresh flowers in the vases, though I do not suppose for a moment that Tim will notice them." There are no vampires, no faeries, no weird creatures, just a sweet story about real people living in a world I've always dreamed of.
I laughed out loud in the first page of the book and fell in love with the writing style and good-natured outlook of the heroine (and the author).
Had to roll my eyes a bit over Hester's own cluelessness about Major Morley (since up to this point she hasn't given the impression of a particularly dense or unobservant person); but the supporting characters are amusing, the setting lovely, and the book in general just light enough to be relaxing reading without being absolute fluff.
Taken from her diary as an army wife, spruced up for publication of course. Delafield's was published two years earlier if the 1934 publication date is correct, but this diary was supposedly written years before that. 4. This book was not a picture of what it would be like to be an army wife during a war. She doesn't speak of the first war (Stevenson was an army wife during both wars though the second hadn't begun yet). The adventures and the characters are amusing and the scenery is indeed lovely and personal leave in the Scottish Highlands with maids and cooks and nursemaids sounds an absolute delight but one does wonder if Mr. Tim would have been all pleased with the attentions paid his dear little wife.
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! 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. "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.
Full name: Dorothy Emily Stevenson.