Sometimes, in a rare moment of leisure, when Mrs. Maitland looked back across the thirty years of her short married life and long widowhood, the nineteen-year-old girl on the other side of that gap seemed a total stranger, incredibly young and untried, incredibly ignorant.
Millie Maitland has settled happily into her busy if slightly impoverished existence in the Scottish village of Mennan, watched over now and then by her solicitor, who once proposed marriage, and her daughter Amabel, grown but still a handful. Millie is much loved by her friends and neighbours, including the gossipy Mrs. Gray, the kind Mrs. Denholm, a shepherd's wife isolated in the hills, and the appalling Mrs. Noble, a flirt whose husband is overseas. But into this contented, quiet life comes a bit of drama. It all starts innocently enough when Martin Heriot, a bachelor farmer, asks Millie to board a black labrador puppy named Sam . . .
Molly Clavering was for many years the neighbour and friend of bestselling author D.E. Stevenson (in just such a village as Mennan), and they may well have influenced one another's writing. First published in 1954, Because of Sam is a charming and compulsively readable comedy of errors. This new edition includes an introduction by Elizabeth Crawford.