by E.F. Benson
After her election to the preeminent position of mayor of Tilling, it seems Lucia's lofty ambitions are at last fulfilled-- but there are always new horizons to conquer, with accompanying perils and pitfalls. The tearooms quiver with delicious gossip as she flexes her mayoral might. Will Lucia finally dare too far and take a humiliating tumble from the pinnacle of her career?
This is the last of Benson's Lucia novels, a delicious study of outrageous snobbery.
(This was a shared read with Donald. We've been working our way through the Lucia series together. I've read all of them once before, on my own.)
I'm not sure what it is about this series, but I love it. This is not my favorite of the series, but I still enjoyed it very much, on the whole, and as the final book of the six, it's certainly well worth reading.
I've seen the Lucia books described as shallow and populated with mean-spirited characters. True, they're not challenging masterpieces-- nor stepping stones on the path to true enlightenment-- and the characters are certainly only too eager to gossip about one another, but there is something intensely human and pleasant about this series! Nothing of any importance ever happens, and that, apparently, is just fine with me. It's enough that it entertains me and warms my heart.
The book (and with it, the series) comes to an end rather abruptly, with little warning. But perhaps that's as it should be. There's no big climax, because that's just not how these stories work. I like to imagine the funny, gossipy circle of "friends" continuing on in more or less the same way, forever.
I'm sad to come to the conclusion of the series again... They are such cozy books! There have been several more volumes written by a few different authors. The little I've read about them suggests that they're a mixed bag. Some sound awful (to be honest), but others might be worth a read. ...The more I think of it, though, the more I wonder if it might be better to stick with the originals, after all. Maybe I'll try the "continuations" someday, but probably not immediately.