Upright, uptight, frigidly, rigidly efficient; that was Mrs. Buchan.Mistletoe and the Mouse
Mrs. Buchan was my favourite character in “Mistletoe and the Mouse”. She sprang unbidden from the page, full of faults and flaws, and of all the characters in the novel, she is the one who I can picture most clearly. She isn’t a sympathetic character at all. She’s cold, uptight and not at all welcoming to her son’s girlfriend, Belle. In fact, Belle is rather wary of her.
James is wary of her too. He seems afraid of upsetting her, and this means that Mrs. Buchan comes across as rather controlling and dictatorial. What Mrs. Buchan says is what happens. So, when Belle decides to do something that Mrs. Buchan isn’t going to like, when she books a holiday to Disneyland Paris, we know that there will be conflict.
The whole house was grey; even the door was painted a steely grey: neat, clean, organised, but still grey. The carefully placed doormat upon which they stood did not say welcome but please wipe your feet. Dutifully, James and Belle wiped, as the footsteps on the other side of the door grew closer, the door swung smoothly open, and James’s mother stood there, tall, thin and grimly elegant.Mistletoe and the Mouse
Should Belle and James go on holiday together, even when they know it’s going to upset his mother? And, if they do, what will Mrs. Buchan have to say about it?
I found that writing Mrs. Buchan’s reactions were the most interesting part of the plot, because I hadn’t planned her story before I started, so it was all new to me too! Her journey, and the change in her relationship with James and Belle, was one of the most significant developments in the plot – even though Mrs. Buchan never leaves her Edinburgh home.
To find out more about Mrs. Buchan (including her first name – she does have one!) you’ll have to read Mistletoe and the Mouse.