Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Vernham Chronicles

In his novel, ‘The Vernham Chronicles,’ John Saunders provides a glimpse into a small village of Vernham located in the countryside around Vernbury Vale, England. The buildings are mostly 16th century with a few mock Tudor buildings. When viewed from the outside, the village appears to be a quaint and charming village “suspended in time,” however, what makes the village so captivating is its collection of wacky and eccentric residents that live intriguing, comical, and atypical lives. ‘Vernham Chronicles’ is a character exploration of the residents of a quaint village and their quirky habits and unconventional behavior.

‘The Vernham Chronicles,’ is divided into twelve chapters with each chapter focusing on a specific setting in the village such as the local tea room, Candy Shop, Country Inn, and more. The stories of the characters in each chapter are loosely connected to one another. The characters presented in each chapter are not just compelling in their oddities and behaviors, but readers will see how these characters are key figures representing the heart of the little village. For instance, readers will follow the Reverend Parsworthy and his alcohol induced rants and eccentric contemplations. PC Fred Sweetman is a man with a history of flashing people who is also a part-time Bobby. Fred is viewed as the “cog in the machine of the village.”

Vernham is an intriguing village with its gossip mill and devilish young boys stealing Candy from Ye Olde Sweetie Shoppe. And the village residents are resolved to live in the past with their absolute lack of interest in technology. Vernham is a village filled with characters with comical idiosyncrasies that will amuse readers. With all of their peculiar and quirky behavior, readers will laugh at the ridiculous and obsessive behavior which makes the story such a fun and entertaining read. The ‘Vernham Chronicles’ is highly recommended to readers who love reading amusing stories about charming communities with quirky and engaging characters.

Tracy Roberts, Write Field Services