Rosamunde Pilcher’s September is a restful novel, full of hardworking, neighborly, nice people who, though they occasionally do things you might not approve of, are nonetheless people you’d be glad to know.
The story focuses on two families in the Scots Highlands: the Balmerinos and the Airds. The Balmerino family has a title, land, and no money. Lord and Lady Balmerino— Archie and Isobel—take in American tourists to make ends meet.
The Airds family has money. Edmund is an executive. Virginia, more than 20 years younger, is his second wife. He has an adult daughter by his late wife, and an 8-year-old son by Virginia.
Edmund and Archie were best friends for years, but a coolness developed between them shortly before Edmund’s wife’s death.
A newcomer triggers events that resolve that coolness when she organizes a big dance for her daughter’s 21st birthday, and gets everyone in the community involved.
The story’s ending is a tad too neatly predictable, but Pilchers’s characterizations, especially in the early chapters, are beautifully sketched. Even minor characters, like the local drunk and the Pakistani couple who run the village market, feel recognizable from her descriptions.
September requires attentive reading, which it richly, calmly, lovingly, repays.
September by Rosamunde Pilcher
St. Martin’s Press. ©1990. 536 p.
1990 bestseller #10; my grade: B+
©2020 Linda G. Aragoni