Review: The Darling Buds of May- H.E. Bates

The Darling Buds of May (Oct)

This was one of two books I received as part of my Warm Vellum Books subscription (I’ll miss it when it runs out in a few days!) The idea was to send me books that were light reads with a positive message- the other was The History of Mr Polly by H.G. Wells, which I’m saving for the dark, stressy days of mock exam madness in about a month’s time.

Anyway, so I approached this with an open mind as I don’t remember the 80s TV show, except that it starred David Jason and a young Catherine Zeta Jones. Everyone I spoke to had fond memories of the book, a tale of a large family visited by a nervous young tax inspector.

While I enjoyed the premise, I think this is definitely one of those books ‘of its time’, which is obviously part of its charm and popularity. However, I didn’t really warm to the character Pop Larkin, played by David Jason on the show. I found him a bit slimy and definitely decided that he’d be a nightmare neighbour. (I also marvelled at the fact that Ma is described as basically ancient-although irresistible to Pop- at the ripe old age of 35!)

Overall, a good quick read- but I don’t think I’ll read any more of the Larkin books.

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