I was lucky enough to receive a couple of Dean Street Press Furrowed Middlebrow imprint books from the publisher to review. These two lovelies publish on 7 June and I have greatly enjoyed my first read.

Molly Clavering – “Mrs Lorimer’s Quiet Summer”

(06 April 2021)

Mrs Lorimer is a quiet and reserved woman (on the surface) who lives in a house on the Scottish Borders with her Colonel husband who’s a bit of a blimp but Comes Through in delightful ways when needed. Their four adult children are all heading back home for a week’s holiday (two of them with assorted grandchildren) and Lucy is regretting that the house down the hill has been bought by a chap from Glasgow, as it would do a lot better for them. As it is, they have to farm their two sons out to Lucy’s great friend Gray Douglas, who lives across the fields.

And, an aside here, both women are novelists in the book AND we are delighted to find (all of us are, surely!?) that they are based on Clavering and her great friend … D.E. Stevenson! Now, we all know I do like a DES novel and here is one in her vein, another seven published at the same time, and by a friend of hers!

Various happenings crop up which prevent the quiet summer Lucy Lorimer was looking forward to. Her children – the quiet (boring) one, the sulky one, the one who’s not looked after properly by his wife and the free, single and heartbroken one – all have their own challenges, and it’s left to Lucy, sometimes Gray and occasionally the Colonel to sort them out. Throw in the nouveau riche family down the hill with the unfortunate surname (and enchanting but also organised daughter), a rather unlikely old flame and a set-piece country show, plus a comedy housekeeper and you’ve got a lovely, absorbing novel which takes you into another safe, gentle, but occasionally acerbic world.

The little details are excellent and make the book, from Colonel Lorimer’s pet schemes for “helping” to run the house to the eternal rivalries of nannies and the lovely descriptions of the countryside. An author I’m definitely looking forward to exploring further!

Thank you to Rupert from Dean Street Press for sending me a review copy of this book in e-book format in exchange for an honest review.