Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Starting Over
Jack Sheffield Series – Prequel and Book XI

BY Jack Sheffield

Bantam Press (Transworld)
26 July 2018/ ISBN 9780593078624
Fiction / Historical

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


Lily Briggs has recently moved to Yorkshire with her mother and brother and started work at Ragley village school as a teacher. She is made welcome by war veteran and headmaster John Pruett, and soon makes the acquaintance of local policeman Tom. But Lily has a secret, and if anybody finds out about it she might have to leave her new life…

Welcome back to Ragley, the Yorkshire village that will be well known to anybody who has read Mr Sheffield’s excellent Teacher series. In this new addition we aren’t in the mid 1980s but 1952, and thus we get to meet many familiar characters when they were a lot younger and discover more about them. Ruby Smith has recently got married to layabout Ronnie, Stan and Deirdre Coe are already the village bullies, Big Dave and Little Malcolm are at Ragley school and Tim and Nora Pratt are keen young teenagers. We get to discover what the school was like under the author’s predecessor, witness Prudence Golightly receiving Jeremy the bear and see how the shadow of the war still colors daily life. Mr Sheffield evokes a time when owning a television was a luxury, washing machines were a rarity and the pace of life was much slower. The villagers get excited about the Coronation, help each other in difficult times and attend the local amateur pantomime. The outside world is more…outside, and just like all the other books in the series this is a joy to read; gentle, life-affirming and thought provoking. I do hope we are in line for another prequel.

Reviewed 2018