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Friday 8 May 2015

The Cuckoos of Batch Magna by Peter Maughan


I’m not one for rereading books, apart from perhaps the classics. Quite simply, I have so many books to read…my TBR will happily sort me out for the next ten years, I think…so it’s purely a time thing.

However…never say never. This is one book I would have no hesitation in putting back in the pile to read again. And again. 

How can one describe the village of Batch Magna? Difficult to find that’s for sure; dreamy, quiet, peaceful…where time has almost stood still. BUT, it’s all about to change when the ‘squire’ of the Batch Magna estate dies and it passes to his beneficiary, Humph. Humph has no plans whatsoever for the estate as it stands: no, much more profitable would be a theme park. This divides the village’s residents: those with businesses foresee an upturn in their profits that a constant flow of visitors would provide. The tenants who live on the estate’s houseboats are devastated. They face eviction. And the loss of their lazy, hazy existence.

It’s not so much the actual story that’s captivating here. It’s the writing. Maughan makes me want to go and live in this almost unfindable, dozy, little place AND with the delightfully quirky motley crew of characters. He’s created a magic kingdom to which you would want to escape. I swear I could hear birds singing, branches rustling and water lapping as I read. That’s how enchanting it is. (So much so, I can just about overlook'loose’ editing. Sorry, Peter).

Read this. It’s delightful.

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