Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mrs. Tim Flies Home by D. E. Stevenson

Published in 1952, reprinted in 1974
By Holt, Rinehart & Winston
New York, NY
284 pages

Mrs. Tim Flies Home is the final book in D. E. Stevenson’s four-part Mrs. Tim series. For those not yet familiar with the lovable Hester Christie, a.k.a. “Mrs. Tim” stop reading this review and go read my reviews of Mrs. Tim of the Regiment, Mrs. Tim Carries On, and Mrs. Tim gets a Job. Although the Mrs. Tim books can be read in any order I personally think they are best if read in order of publication. By doing so the reader’s familiarity with Hester and her friends and family grows just as the characters relationships grow and mature with time.

The Plot:
“Leaving Tim (now a colonel) in Kenya, Mrs. Tim flies home to her children for the summer in her beloved North Country. A stopover in Rome allows for the unexpected renewal of an old friendship with Tony Morely – a friendship regarded as highly suspect by fellow passenger Rosa Alston.

Once installed in The Small House in Old Quinings, a host of local characters – some familiar to followers of Mrs. Tim’s adventures – brighten and shadow Hester’s life. Tony Morely turns up, but so does Rosa Alston with her gossipy innuendoes. Mrs. Tim has a trying time with a singularly unpleasant landlady, but two young romances enliven the village, and Mrs. Tim closes her diary on a note of infectious happiness.” (The publisher, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1974)

My Thoughts:
I had bitter-sweet feelings as I picked up Mrs. Tim Flies Home. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the series and I felt as though I was meeting with some friends for the very last time. And yet, as far as a final book in a series can go, Mrs. Time Flies Home was very enjoyable and tied up a few loose ends nicely and left a few to the imagination of the reader.

As I read I found myself once again marveling at how comforting the Mrs. Tim books are in spite of the simplicity of their plots. Mrs. Tim Flies Home is a charming story filled with witty tales of domesticity in post war (WWII) England. There’s something about the dialogue, narration, and characters that drive the story with the occasional plot twist or intrigue.

I confess my only regret, if I am allowed to have one, is that throughout the series many couples find true love and live “happily-ever-after” including Tim and Hester, but for Tony Morely. Tony was one of my favorite regulars in the series. I just loved his sense of humor and charm and I always hoped, right up to the last quarter of this book, that he would find a woman who could rival Hester for his admiration. But in the end I suppose Stevenson felt it far more romantic and much more Tony-like to leave him a bachelor who remains a very dear friend of the Christie family. In retrospect, I suppose I can accept that.

Overall I definitely loved the Mrs. Tim series. The first in the series was reprinted by The Bloomsbury Group Publishers in 2009. I heard a rumor that they may go on to publish the rest of the series. I hope it's true, because this is one series I definitely am happy to own and to recommend.

Related Links:

Mrs. Tim of the Regiment - Reviewed
Mrs. Tim Carries On - Reviewed
Mrs. Tim Gets a Job - Reviewed

Tuesday Teasers: Mrs. Tim of the Regiment
Tuesday Teasers: Mrs. Tim Gets a Job
Tuesday Teasers: Mrs. Tim Gets a Job
Tuesday Teasers: Mrs. Tim Flies Home

Happy Birthday D. E. Stevenson

Other D. E. Stevenson books reviewed


hopeinbrazil said...

I am wondering if you'd like my copy of Stevenson's Gerald and Elizabeth. I'm going back to Brazil soon and would like to find a good home for some of the books I can't take back with me. Send me your address via e-mail if you are interested. Blessings, Hope

Nan said...

I am so fond of these books, and really everything by Stevenson.