Her normal life pleased her so well that she was half afraid to step out of its frame in case one day she should find herself unable to get back.
Mrs Miniver began as an occasional series of articles to The Times by Jan Struther. Observations about family life, day-to-day events, thoughts and reflections are collected under enticing headings such as The Last Day of the Holidays, Christmas Shopping and Choosing a Doll and were published as a book in 1939.
The opening is delightful. Mrs Miniver is returning to her London home carrying a big bunch of chrysanthemums. She rejoices in the early autumn sunshine, the astringent scent of the flowers, the bright fire in her drawing room and the unsullied new library books laying on the stool.
There are similarities in the style and form between Mrs Miniver and The Diary of a Provincial Lady, but I have to say that at times I found Mrs Miniver a little too smug which I never found with the PL. However, the excellent introduction by Valerie Groves informs us that Jan Struther had a very privileged life and reminds us to keep a sense of time and place. The book takes on a more sombre tone after the outbreak of war.
I suspect Mrs Miniver works best as a series of articles rather than a novel, nevertheless this is an enjoyable read by an intelligent and vivacious woman.