Publication Order of Runnymede Books
|Six of One||(1978)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Bingo||(1988)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Loose Lips||(1999)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Sand Castle||(2008)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
The Runnymede Series by Rita Mae Brown is a four book series lined with just the adequate twists and turns to render it a fantastic read. Born in Hanover, Pennsylvania, Brown is a renowned American writer famous for her bold and mysterious writing style. The series is biased as a women’s fiction one featuring the colorful and richly historical town of Runnymede. The Runnymede series is one made with women in mind in the detailing and characterization of the book without making it less fun and intriguing for all kinds of readers.
The first book to usher in the series was the novel ‘Six in One’ which was first published in 1978.
This first book is emblazoned by the contrasted yet highly colorful characters as it tells the small town Runnymede story with its diverse and rich history. Positioned in Maryland right at the Mason-Dixon line, the story is just as enticing as the characters it depicts. Lined with mystery and unbelievable boldness, this first book features a headstrong and highly aristocratic character in the form of Celeste Chalfonte. She lives up to her true exquisite and fearless self by murdering for principle and as if that were not enough she steals her brother’s wife and marries her. The strangely enterprising Fannie Jump is also featured. When she goes through a rough patch and faces difficult times, she resorts to running a speakeasy in her own home. Fairy Thatcher the activist is not left out and is shown as disappearing into the feared Hitler’s Germany.
Bold eccentricity is not left out in the captivating story and it is perfectly depicted by the Hunsenmeir sisters in the form of Louise and Julia. Because a women’s fiction would be absolutely nothing without a few quibbles and misunderstandings, Wheezie and Juts ensure the fair share of both are brought out. The two have spent all their lives in the small town and their quibbles are nothing if not cheerful. Every topic imaginable is up for challenge; from obvious ones like men, to personal ones like child rearing and even the unexpected ones like how to drive a car. Living a small time life tends to narrow quibbling topics for the pair but it does nothing to hinder them from chasing their biggest dreams and being themselves in the bluntest realest sense.
For lack of anything else, this first book will definitely have you gaping in disbelief, relating in understanding and turning the pages as you interact with the colorful diverse characters. it lacks absolutely nothing in diversity as it plays along with the mix of characters assuring you zero boredom. It is a cover to cover book with a perfect blend of sisterhood and sass that leaves nothing to chance. As the first in the series, it definitely lives up to the rich and imaginative style of its author while opening up a whole new world to readers with high expectation for the following books.
A decade later, this comes to pass in the form of the second book in the series, ‘Bingo’. Published in 1988, ‘Bingo’ rhymes in perfect continuity to the series despite the long time difference in publishing from the first book in the series. Readers will also notice a change in the more contemporary nature of the second book given the changing times. ‘Bingo’ is a witty tale depicting wild passion and fierce rivalry in the tiny Southern town of Runnymede in Maryland. The mix of passion and rivalry is deliberately put together so as to create a flow that is both realistic and astounding so readers can enjoy each passing tale.
This story is set to begin as Nickel Smith, a newspaper editor goes to untold lengths to try and save the town’s local paper from being corporately extinct. Her ability to put all her energy into this even as she engages in a shocking affair that has the whole town shocked and herself astounded is unfathomable though not so much so seeing as she is daughter to one of the renowned Hunsenmeir sisters known for their boldness and eccentricity. Perhaps it is in her blood.
As Nickel causes shock ripples throughout the small town, Julia, her mother along with her aunt Loise have their eagle eye on her. Known for having the town on its ears for decades, the two are a formidable force. Going on to their nineties though, there is nothing much they can do especially now that Nickel is a grown woman able to make her own decisions. With the additional free time, what the two need is someone to gossip about. The town’s weekly bingo games are in full swing but not even that can keep the two trouble makers out of trouble. Worse still, Ed Tutweiler Walters, an eligible newcomer arrives in town kick starting the laughable schoolgirl fighting between the two sisters. Each one of them wants to claim the prize and the prize is none other than Ed Walters. With neither willing to give up, its a journey of hilarious competition.
The second book certainly delivers on point with a focused look at the ups and downs of contemporary relationships especially in the proximity of a small town. It offers a full fledged look at the trials, comforts and absurdities of life in a small town; life in Runnymede, Maryland. ‘Bingo’ maintains the authenticity of Brown’s writing style as in the first book while creating a road map for new ideologies and understanding in conformation with the times.
Judging from the captivating nature of the first two books in the Runnymede series and the ability of Rita Mae Brown to ensure continuity and captivating tales, the rest of the collection does nothing if not adding to the amazing thoughtfulness, creativity and realistically set story of the amazing Runnymede characters. This series is definitely a page turner and book after book it will have you yearning for more of the Runnymede magic while sating your desire for a great fictional read. Unbelievable things happen in Runnymede and no one bats an eyelid; only you the reader might!Book Series In Order » Characters » Runnymede