Jane’s Country Year by Malcolm Saville (Handheld Press)

Tears in the Fence

Malcolm Saville’s Lone Pine Five books were part of my growing up, a more literate successor (along with Arthur Ransome’sSwallows & Amazonsbooks) to Enid Blyton’sFamous Fivebooks, which I loved but raced through. Saville never got much recognition for his writing for children, and only recently did I discover the Lone Pine Five paperbacks I collected (and still have) often had a quarter or more of the story removed since their initial hardback publications.

There are several publishers in recent years who have been reprinting out-of-print books, marketing them to nostalgic adults keen to revisit their past, but Handheld Books – who are new to me – are not one of these. Until now they have been reissuing books by the likes of Rose Macualay, John Buchan, Sylvia Townsend Warner and other authors I have never heard of. But their ‘Handheld Classic 24’ is this stand-alone novel-come-nature…

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