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Round Ringford Books In Order

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Publication Order of Round Ringford Books

Pastures New (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Spinster Of The Parish / A Tangled Web (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
New Every Morning (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Orphan Lamb (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thy Neighbour's Wife (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mixed Doubles (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon

The Round Ringford series is written by English author Ann Purser. They are set in the English countryside and focus on English country life. Ann Purser lives in a small and attractive village in the East Midlands that fuels her inspiration for her novels which mostly focus on country life.

Purser does her daily shopping and takes in the life of the village all around her. She has worked in many different fields and has worked as a journalist, columnist, and art gallery proprietor, running her gallery in an antique barn located behind her home. Her eavesdropping among the many characters and relationships among her customers also helped inform her series. Purser would even sharpen her skills by weaving plots based on strangers that would spend an hour or more in her gallery.

These experiences with the local people who live in her town or are stopping by served as good writing material when she finally turned to fiction writing. So did her life in a small town, where she grew up going to the village school, singing in the choir at church, and belonging to the Women’s Guild. She won an Open University degree after six years of studying and wrote two non-fiction books during this time, one for handicapped children’s parents and one for schools on popular entertainment.

Purser sold the gallery when she had run it for ten years and the business relocated while she stayed on with her husband in their house that was right next to the village school, providing the perfect setting and inspiration of material for her country-inspired stories. Purser began channeling her inspiration into novels, which in turn became the Round Ringford series. She ended up writing a few other series as well, including the Lois Meade Mysteries and the Ivy Beasley series. She enjoys writing in the mornings and taking part of village life for the rest of the day along with home errands, and is never bored with her rural life!

The Round Ringford series has six novels in total in it. The debut book of the series was published in 1994 and was titled Pastures New. The last book in the series was Mixed Doubles, which was published in 1998. Each of the novels has a separate story that it focuses on but also has the same characters involved in the story as with the previous novels, with the addition of a few new people to the cast with every book. Each story also focuses on an issue that all rural villages in the countryside experience and Ann’s readers frequently comment how much Round Ringford is like their village.

Pastures New is the first book in the Round Ringford series. Ann Purser brings the quaint charm of an English village to life in this debut novel about villagers in a very small town. All of the amiable nature of a small village and the good-natured gossip that takes place are present in this easy to read the first book in the six-novel series. While many elements of this novel involve a somewhat traditional and conservative small village, there are modern topics brought into these novels such as mental illness or adultery.

Peggy Palmer is the main character in this story. Her husband Frank loses his job, but he’s still getting severance. Peggy is very resourceful and thinks that they should use the severance he received to purchase a village shop located in a small town. The village is filled with cozy charm, so not six months later the Palmers leave their Coventry suburban home for a new life. Their destination is the quaint town of Round Ringford, which seems the perfect place for two married people in the middle of their fifties to start again.

The Palmers decide that they will run the post office and village store in Round Ringford. While initially uncertain whether they would be able to fit in and make friends, they quickly get to know the people of the town. Before they know it, the Palmers have made the acquaintance of a number of individuals. They get to know Ivy Beasley, who is crabby and unwelcoming. There’s also Sheila Pearson, the District Councillor who wants to green light a housing development that is causing quite a stir in the village. There’s also the arrogant but simultaneously miserable Susan Standing, the wife of the local Lord of the Manor.

Peggy finds that she has a new friend in Bill Turner. Bill is trapped in a marriage that is most certainly unhappy, but they grow their relationship and she finds that being a support system for Bill is nice. But when a tragedy occurs, Peggy must give some thought to what she is going to do next. Does she have feelings for her new friend and can her new life in this village stay the same if she goes ahead in a different direction?

As Peggy is faced with some decisions to make, other happenings in the village make waves. With a number of subplots, a focus on country living, fun characters, and a romantic storyline with a cliffhanger that is going to leave readers reaching for the second book, check out this novel and see what happens– and whether the Palmers can go on to thrive in this small town or will find themselves on the outs with the people of this close-knit village.

Spinster of This Parish is the second book in the Round Ringford series. It was published in 1995 and is also known by the title A Tangled Web. In this fun follow-up to the first novel of the Round Ringford series, the village has not changed much. Ivy Beasley is still crabby, and the aging spinster still hasn’t warmed to the arrival of her neighbors the Palmers.

Moreover, Ivy does not approve of Peggy’s friendship with the married man, Bill Turner. She’s infuriated by this interaction until she catches onto the arrival of the new Vicar and his wife, Sophie. Ivy is one of the most nosy busybodies in the town and is busy spinning her webs as the year progresses through harvest, Christmas, a funeral, and a wedding. But will Ivy be the one caught in its threads? Pick up this charming novel to find out!

Book Series In Order » Characters » Round Ringford

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