The scene of this entertaining story is laid in a charming English village. The plot centres round Miss Barbara Buncle, a maiden lady who was obliged to write a book because – as she naively explained – her dividends were so poor. Unfortunately, Miss Buncle had no imagination, so she wrote about her friends – quite kindly and truthfully, of course, for she was a benevolent and veracious soul.
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Marriage to her publisher, Arthur Abbott, has done nothing to stop Barbara Buncle from involving herself in the lives of her neighbours. After leaving Silverstream and moving to London, Barbara and Arthur are enjoying their newly-wedded bliss, but not the city life. The only solution to their problem? Returning to the country. Silverstream is out of the question, but Barbara eventually finds the perfect candidate in the town of Wandlebury.
Mrs Abbott is flustered at the thought of putting up a lady from the Red Cross, but is happily surprised when she turns out to be an old friend from her previous life as Miss Buncle, infamous writer. Of course, she’s now far too busy with her children to write, not to mention helping out in the lives of the villagers. And with a possible spy in their midst, evacuated families, potential love matches and a visit from a famous writer, she’s got her work cut out for her.