The Tale of Hill Top Farm, by Susan Witting Albert, takes an era which revolved around simpler times and gives it a modern twist. Combining the features unique to a small town and the English countryside makes this novel one to remember and cherish.
As the story opens, a lady who owns one of the bigger houses in town is reading a letter. before said correspondence can be finished, the woman is dead. Once a neignbor discovers the lifeless body, the gossip ensues. In one form or another, everyone will hear about the corpse, and start coming up with their own ideas about what happened.
To add to the word spreading around town, Beatrix Potter is on a train coming in. Yes, that Beatrix Potter, who is known worldwide for the children’s books which she writes as well as illustrates. It appears that she has recently purchased a place in town (although not the one with the dead body) and wants to see things for herself.
Albert adeptly mixes fiction with the real life history of the author who taught children about Mrs. Tiggly Wink, Jemima Puddle Duck,and Mr. Benjamin Bunny, among others. Therefore, animals play a prominent role in the book. Readers will be intrigued by Joesy, Tom, Darkie, Tabitha, Teasel, Acorn, and Hunca Munca, just to name a few.
At the back of the book are some recipes which might have been made by the townspeople.