this is a great book, a classic, my copy was printed in 1942....I was raised working class with immigrant parents and don't normally like characters like Mrs. Miniver, an upper middle class British housewife with a country home and servants. Yet I was enchanted by these 37 essays that originally appeared in the London Times between 1937 and 1939.
We don't even learn the first name of the lead character until the very end of the book. She is always Mrs. Miniver, and her husband is always Clem. The Minivers are close, but they don't ever act intimate.
Even though the essays are in the third person (except for the letter at the end where we learn her first name), this is one of the most intimate looks into a woman's mind I have ever read. The author's love of language and the details of daily life are revealed through the thoughts of this delightful character.
The essays were published in the Times every two weeks for the two years leading up to the British entry into World War II. Although the preparations for war are discussed in later essays, they mostly deal with the everyday lives of this typical middle class family. The essays became a symbol of the essence of British life and were published in book form as the war began. The US edition includes an additional essay where Mrs. Miniver prepares her first Christmas shopping list of the war.
The American cinema made an Oscar-winning movie with the same title starring Greer Garson, but the plot of the movie has nothing to do with the subject of these brief disconnected short stories. This is a wonderful book that I will cherish for a long time. Highly recommended.