'January 22nd - Robert startles me at breakfast by asking if my cold - which he has hitherto ignored - is better. I reply that it has gone. Then why, he asks, do I look like that? Feel that life is wholly unendurable, and decide madly to get a new hat'. It's not easy being a provincial lady in Devonshire in the 1920s, juggling a grumpy husband, mischievous children and a host of domestic dilemmas - from rice mould to a petulant cook. But this provincial lady will not be defeated; not by wayward flower bulbs, not by unexpected houseguests, not even by the Blitz. She will continue to preside over the W.I., endure rain-drenched family picnics and succeed as a published author, all the while tending to her strawberries. The Diary of a Provincial Lady is a brilliantly observed comic novel, as funny and fresh today as when it was first written.