I have to admit that during very down times in my life I like to read....don't tell anyone....Miss Read. Who, I hear you ask, is Miss Read? Well, she was the name used by Dora Saint for her English country novels. She has written too many to recount here, it would take the whole page. I did find a really good website for them though:
I would call these 1950's chicklit. Or maybe farmgirl-lit..... They recall an innocent time, when communities knew everything about everybody. She wrote two series, one set in Fairacre and the other in the neightboring Thrush Green. Fairacre centers around the Miss Read character who is a teacher in a two room school house. You learn all about the lives of the children she teaches. It is all roses either, there is a grumpy cleaner and evidence of child abuse. But it is done in such a way that you understand that this is what real life is like! Thrush Green covers all of the people that live there and doesn't settle on any one person or household.
So why are these guilty pleasures? Well, when I was married to my first husband and we were having problems,I would close myself off into my bedroom and read of a distant place. A place where a woman, Miss Read, often talked about how glad she was she wasn't married. A place where everyone knew the other and supported them in times of trouble, and celebrated in times of triumph. I spent many a happy hour reading each and everyone of Miss Read's books, becoming one of the neighbors. Living in a place I didn't even think I would visit, the Cotswolds. I enjoy them as much now...in fact when I was so worried about my nephew, who was having breathing difficulties after birth, I got back out one I haven't read in ages, and it helped me to unwind.
So what are your guilty pleasures? What book is it that you unearth whenever you need a lift of the spirit?