I’m putting this review in because I know that sometimes a local author gets overlooked because they are not writing for the mass market. Peter George’s Mr Tim is a lovely book with a real heart to it, and leaves the reader with a feel-good aftertaste which is good for us surely.
Charming and Easy Read
Mr Tim, the new novel by local author and poet Peter George, is a period piece, re-creating the 1950s with a deft hand for detail.Because of the kindly eye with which the author captures the period this book will be enjoyable to older readers as a way of re-capturing their early years. Equally the quaintness of its attitudes and manners may well appeal to young people with an interest in what their elders got up to in those days!
It is a story of a trainee land agent, whose job takes him to live and work in rural Wales, right in the heart of a local community unused to incomers. It carries echoes of other ‘rites of passage’ novels, bringing to mind James Herriot’s veterinary stories, and Thomas Hardy’s Under the Greenwood Tree. Each one of them follows an outsider’s journey into a close-knit, traditionally-minded community. But Mr Tim’s special quality for readers in Wales is in the details with which he describes the environment. The culture, the people, and the landscape of Wales are captured skilfully by one who has lived amongst them. The scenes described blend together to produce some very amusing action, and characters, like ‘Gramps’, the old man who is full of advice and wisdom but not beyond displaying a sly humour. In describing the typical adventures of the inexperienced young Tim, we watch him grow as he attempts to fit in and to become the more mature, Mr Tim, accepted by the locals. Being away from home, and without parental guidance, he stumbles through the challenges of his working life, and through the more intimate adventures which come his way, without suffering any real harm. His mistakes, of course, are seen to help him to gain confidence, and ultimately to enable him to act on the first stirrings of love in his life. Though it is written with real humour and some very funny moments, Mr Tim’s story also carries a genuine sense of the uncertainties through which ordinary people travelled in the years following the second world war. Having experienced those difficult times together, community life was strong in a way long gone, when people knew and trusted their neighbours and were willing to help and support those who fell or could not do for themselves. That said, this is not a serious book and its light-hearted charm genuinely leaves the reader with a smile.
Mr Tim by Peter George is published by Cam Ffoi and can be ordered from bookshops and purchased online from Amazon where it is also available as an ebook.