Fairacre is changing, even though this downland village and Miss Read's school may still look as they did one hundred years ago. The old cottages where the community once lived are being bought by outsiders, and the new commuter lifestyle has taken children to other schools. Numbers at the Fairacre school are so low, Miss Read fears the school may close. Miss Read is even more concerned about the ill health of her longtime friend Dolly Clare. But Amy, Miss Read's old college friend, gives support, and life is always stimulated by the irascible school cleaner, Mrs. Pringle. Despite the disruptions to the tranquility of village life, the people of Fairacre prevail, as always, in an uplifting and vastly entertaining way.