I grew up reading Gladys Taber's columns on country living written for Ladies' Home Journal and Family Circle. My mother loved her quiet essays about the old country house she and her friend Jill (her name in the books, not her real name) lived in, their adventures keeping the old house alive, their neighbors and friends, their gardens and cooking, their cats and their dogs. I loved them, too. I have many of her books about Stillmeadow and Still Cove, her homes in Connecticut and on Cape Cod.
Bur for some reason, I didn't realize she had written fiction, too. Mrs. Daffodil is fiction, but it is clearly autobiographical. Mrs. Daffodil lives in an old farmhouse in the country with her friend Kay and writes columns about country living. They have a Siamese cat and they raise Irish Setters and Cocker Spaniels. The two of them labor around the place to keep things working, they garden, they cook, and they can. Mrs. Daffodil happily greets admirers of her column who often drop by unannounced, Kay heads for the hills when they do. Pure real Gladys Taber.
I think this is a charming, quiet book, instilled with country wisdom. If you like the Miss Buncle books or Betty MacDonald's books, I think you'll like Mrs. Daffodil. It's not bereft of problems: small farmers are failing and housing developments are eating up the farmland, highways are cutting through residential land, people are having the same relationship problems they always have. The septic system breaks, the new dishwasher won't work, Mrs. Daffodil gets locked in their old car, the help they hire does nothing but eat and cause problems while Mrs. Daffodil and Kay do all the work.
If you want a few serene moments out of your busy life, try this book, or any of Gladys Taber's Stillmeadow or Still Cove books.