25/04/2003

Mr Brightly's Evening Off (by Kathleen Rowntree)

I would love to know more about Kathleen Rowntree, a writer whose books had a brief spate of popularity during the 1980s. Yet there is nothing, as far as I can tell, about her online other than reviews of some of her books.

'Mr Brightly's Evening Off' is about a man called Richard Brightly. He is an accountant, and also a lay reader in his church. He is much loved by the elderly Mrs Parminster, whom he visits regularly, and also by Cressida, a young mother with a disabled son. He helps Cressida frequently, and becomes friendly with her. He even helps people with their finances, trying to encourage them to make the best possible investments.

Richard Brightly also seems to cope well with a demanding, materialistic wife. Unfortunately, one of his financial schemes gets him into unexpected trouble. The novel charts the problems he has in paying the penalty... and in doing so, how he re-discovers the joy of living, and finds out who his real friends are.

Very enjoyable; highly recommended. Unfortunately now out of print, but readily available second hand.

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