Rebecca Shaw's series of "Village" books (all set in the fictional village of Turnham Malpas) are highly popular, and this one, "A Village in Jeopardy", is the latest one, No. 16.
If you are interested in my review of No. 15, you can find that here.
Everything I said back then about the previous book in the series is true about this one; those who like the series will like the newest instalment, and those who never got "into" Turnham Malpas and its inhabitants won't all of a sudden get hooked by "A Village in Jeopardy".
The writing is less than elegant; sometimes I wonder whether the editor didn't notice, couldn't be bothered or left a sentence as it was because it reflects the author's personal style. Compare this to, for instance, Frances Garrood's writing - there are galaxies between them.
And yet, there is something about this series that makes we go back for more, and look forward to the next one. Maybe it is the way all the characters age and develop and their lives change at the same time, just like people in a community do in real life, while at the same time each book focuses mainly on one or two families or individuals whose stories provide the thread keeping the book together.
This time, one such principal character is Beth, now 21 years old; the series begins when she and her twin brother are born. Beth has just finished her first year at university and is about to take a decision her parents are not happy with. Actually, there are two decisions; one involves her (possible) future career and the other - surprise, surprise! - a man. At the end of the book, the young woman does what everyone hopes she will do, which left me a bit disappointed, to be honest. I would have much more liked her to go for what she seemed to really want for most of the period during which the reader accompanies her.
Some other people have to face life-changing decisions, not all of them are doing what everyone in their right mind thinks appropriate and good, but such is life, isn't it! How many times have people you know in your circle of friends, family or acquaintances done something (maybe yourselves included) others can't really understand?
Anyway, this book provided me with three evenings of pleasant reading, while during my lunchbreak I kept my mind occupied with a more challenging read - finally, some good non-fiction again, as my next post will show.