Scott, Mary "One of the Family" - 1958
Another lovely book by Mary Scott. I read somewhere that it was one of her most successful ones, I have no idea why because they are all nice but here you go. I would have probably chosen another one as my favourite but this certainly is also a good one.
Yes, uncle Robert returns from England after having taught hundreds of boys in his life. He visits his niece on a remote farm, a niece he has never seen in his life. But apparently, they all get on well together and so uncle Robert stays on for a lot longer than he had intended to.
Anyway, as in most books by Mary Scott (to whom I dedicated her own blog entry here), there are a lot of wonderful people living in the backblocks and they all help each other, the good ones win in the end. I don't think I'm telling anyone any secrets. If you've read some of her books, you will know anyway.
Unfortunately, Mary Scott's books are out of print and only available second hand. I have heard in the meantime, that you can buy some of them as eBooks, like this one here.
From the back cover (translated): "Robert Macalister, teacher, childless and widowed, retires and returns to England. Because he wants to spend his old age in his native New Zealand. On the sheep farm of his niece Dora Moore.
The fact that the farm is in big trouble does not frighten him. On the contrary. He wants to help his niece. And so his planned short visit turns into a longer stay.
At the end of the first year, it turns out that Uncle Robert has stood his ground. He's just the best. For him, only one thing counts: He started a new life in old age and breached his loneliness ..."
I also happened to find an article about Mary Scott and her novels called "The New Zealand Novel".