A Tale Of Cuckoo Brow Wood

Written by Susan Wittig Albert
Review by Susan Cook

I am currently relishing rereading Beatrix Potter’s books with my daughter, so I was delighted to discover a mystery series featuring Miss Potter herself. This story, the third of the Cottage Tales, draws inspiration from The Tale of Samuel Whiskers. It is 1907. Miss Potter has escaped London for her beloved farm in the village of Sawrey, but unwelcome visitors are everywhere. Rats have overrun her property; tiresome relatives refuse to leave the vicarage; Major Kitteridge has returned home with a mysterious wife, a witch some say, who seems to be behind an unwelcome plan to develop property on Lake Windermere; some local children have a problem that they think can only be solved by the fairies said to inhabit Cuckoo Brow Wood. Beatrix – and her animal friends – must connect the threads and set the village to rights again.

The book begins slowly, reintroducing people and places familiar to previous readers. However, a few chapters in, I found myself immersed in the human and animal worlds of the Lake District. Ms. Albert weaves fact, fiction, folklore, and the tone of Potter’s own books to make a cosy read. For adults and young adults who love Beatrix Potter and the English countryside.