At Sunwich Port, by W.W. Jacobs
In a charming seaside village in Edwardian England, the (humorous) fates of two sea-faring families (and assorted other townsfolk) intertwine in interesting ways.
Before I found this novel (at manybooks.net-- a great resource for free books), the only time I'd come across this author was through his famous (and quite creepy) story, "The Monkey's Paw". This book is as far from horribly-twisting, wish-granting, mummified animal parts as you can get.
I found the book a little slow getting started-- it begins when several of the main characters are children, then skips ahead to when they are young adults-- but once it's fairly underway and you're familiar with the characters, it's clear sailing.
I read this aloud with Donald because I'd seen it compared to P.G. Wodehouse, one of our very favorites for shared reads. While it's not quite on the same level as the best Wodehouse, it's good. (I'll confess, though, that I didn't even try to read the accents accurately. I didn't drop all the h's, for instance. Not my thing.)
I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys the Wodehousian style. It has that nice, cozy atmosphere that makes a book a true pleasure to read. I want to stroll down Fullalove Alley and take in the sights-- but since that's not possible, I'll have to be satisfied with trying something else by Jacobs-- maybe Dialstone Lane...