Spine and corners bumped. Spine and corners creased.
Change is afoot in the usually sleepy village of Risingdale. Gerald Gaunt, headmaster of the primary school for over thirty years, is retiring. It is the end of an era and Gerald hopes that his replacement will work with him to secure a bright, happy future for the school. But Mr Smart has his own ideas about how things should be run, and things start to become fraught very quickly.
On top of this, the teachers have plenty of other dramas to contend with. Still dealing with a class of children who seem to understand agriculture better than arithmetic, Tom Dwyer is pining over Janette, his one-that-got-away. Meanwhile, his colleague Joyce Tranter's new marital bliss is shattered by the arrival of her husband's avaricious, scheming nephew. And elsewhere in the village, Sir Hedley's long-cherished plans for his future are jeopardised by the arrival back in his life of his bitter, desperate ex-wife.
Can the residents of Risingdale pull together and achieve happiness against the odds?