The time has come, as you surely knew it would, for me to share this one from my collection. There’s nothing random about Nancy Calls the Tune by Dorita Fairlie Bruce. It’s one of my all-time favourite books. In fact, it’s possibly the one I’d choose if I could only rescue one of my collection of old children’s books. The other contender is Anne of the Island by LM Montgomery.
Although written in very different times and places, they have some similarities. And it’s what they have in common that makes me love Nancy Calls the Tune so much. I’ve written about this before so I’ll cut to the chase: it’s the description of a small community. Easterbraes (possibly Blairgowrie in real life) is a small Scottish town that we move to with Nancy Caird early in the Second World War.
Nancy moves to Easterbraes to take up the position of organist at the South Kirk, having met the minister, Angus Macrae, at the home of mutual friends along with his friend Nick Vossaryck. Already there is her friend Desda, known to us from earlier books in the series. These four form one level of community, their group being added to by Desda’s sister Rosalind as the story moves on. The other community prominent in the novel is the congregation – anyone who’s anyone in the town seems to belong to it!
Everyone who has read this book knows that there are issues to be taken with it but I’m happy to look past those and just enjoy the warmth of the friendships and sense of the community pulling together – not always harmoniously – to promote strength and security.