The Lovers of Pound Hill by Mavis Cheek

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The Lovers of Pound Hill by Mavis Cheek

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A new book by Mavis Cheek is always an event and this one is no exception. Anyone who can handle a priapic gnome and make it genuinely witty rather than smutty deserves a medal. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 368 Date: May 2011
Publisher: Hutchinson
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0091931667

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Archaeologist Molly Bonner had something about her. She definitely wasn't dressed for the country when she arrived in Lufferton Boney and she'd captured the heart of one young man before she'd even walked down the street. She captured another when she offered money to work on the Gnome of Pound Hill, but Miles Whittington was ruled by his wallet and he was keen to make money out of the Gnome. The Gnome, you see, was what might euphemistically be called 'well endowed' and Miles had visions of charging visitors to make use of the, er, fertility rites. One thing was certain – none of the villagers of Lufferton Boney would be the same by the time that Molly Bonner (not only an archaeologist but also the archaeologist's granddaughter) had finished her work.

Before we go any further – a health and safety warning: do no read this book in public if you are at all worried about laughing out loud or the occasional snort which brings tears to the eyes and prevents you speaking intelligibly for some time. It's going to happen and you really are best in the privacy of your own space. And before you wonder, it's not the gnome's appendage which causes the problem, but the wonderful mixture of people who live in the village. Many books are advertised as being funny and few live up to the hype, but The Lovers of Pound Hill is genuinely witty and very, very clever. It's satire at its best.

I'm not going to tell you a lot more about the story, because it's Mavis Cheek's version you want to read, not my ham-fisted summary. The plot has been crafted and it will grab you from the first page. There's a lot of research behind the story but there's very little in the way of exposition on subjects which most people will know little about and at the end you'll find that it's been intellectually satisfying as well as a good read.

You'll love the people too. In fact – if you live in a village you'll know most of them, from the upper-class lady who drinks just a little too much, the wife of the professional man who's bored and under-employed and the son who is well-meaning but not very bright – and just a little too inclined to fall in love. Borrow the book by all means but you'll get value out of buying it because it's one to go back to and reread.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

For another village satire we can recommend Burley Cross Postbox Theft by Nicola Barker. For more from Mavis Cheek have a look at Amenable Women and the wonderful Truth to Tell.

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Buy The Lovers of Pound Hill by Mavis Cheek at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Lovers of Pound Hill by Mavis Cheek at


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