Once in a while you come across a book which you read with tears in your eyes and a smile upon your lips. Among its pages, you meet characters so memorable and warm that their memories stay with you long after the last pages have been turned and the book placed back upon the shelf.
One such book that I have read is "Goodbye Mr Chips" by James Hilton.
Goodbye, Mr. Chips is a short novella about a school teacher affectionately called Mr Chips and chronicles his life. Mr Chips is not just a teacher but an institute and an era in his personality.
As the teacher of classics at Brookfield School since 1870, he sees many changes in the British society, the Franco-Prussian War, the First World War and survives many headmasters at the school.
His wife Katherine appears in just a couple of chapters but her vivacious character is as unforgettable as her memories are poignant. She had a great deal of influence on him and changes him into a mellow, gentler creature well-liked and respected by everyone at school.
Such is the love, fondness and respect for the elderly teacher that in spite of his tattered robe, his peculiarities and his old fashioned ways that when one headmaster tries to make him resign the students, their fathers and the board of governors comprising his old students stand behind him to a man.
It's a very lovely book that will make you cry a little and smile a lot and give you a warm feeling of having known someone precious.