When the rector, Peter, and his wife, Caroline, decide to go to Africa for a year to work in a mission, they take their twins with them. The village inhabitants whose lives revolve around the church and this family are bereft. They don't immediately take to the woman locum, Anna, who has modern ideas, happy clappy hymns and so forth, but she does fill the church with parishioners determined to keep an eye on her. And then she brings Paddy, a down and out petty thief, into their midst. He lives at the Rectory and there is speculation as to whose bed he shares. However, Anna is smitten by someone else, but he is a married man.
Once again Rebecca Shaw has given us a hugely readable and enjoyable novel. She is a master at mixing pathos with humour and the excitement she instils in this engaging story makes it one of her very best.
©2005 Rebecca Shaw; (P)2005 Orion Publishing Group Ltd.