The Citadel by A. J. Cronin (1937)

Review by Sylvia D: The Citadel is a powerful attack on the medical system in this country before the inception of the National Health Service in 1948. The vehicle for this attack is the career of Scotsman, Andrew Manson, who starts out as a newly qualified doctor’s assistant in the 1920s in the drab South Wales … Continue reading

Three Loves by A J Cronin (1932)

Our reading groups started again in September after an August break, and the first novelist to report back on is A J Cronin. Archibald Joseph Cronin (1896 – 1981) was born in Scotland, and trained as a doctor at the University of Glasgow. He  served as a surgeon with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve during … Continue reading

Chatterton Square by E. H. Young (1947)

Review by Thecla: This is the story of two contrasting families, the Blacketts and the Frasers, who live in adjacent houses in Chatterton Square, Upper Radstowe (Bristol). The Blackett family consists of Herbert and Bertha and their three daughters Flora, Rhoda and Mary; the Fraser family of Rosamund and her children James, Felix, Chloe, Sandra … Continue reading

Bright Day by J. B. Priestley (1946)

Review by David R: The story opens in the immediate post-WW2 period. The narrator, Gregory Dawson is a scriptwriter staying at an hotel in Cornwall while he works on a film script. There is an air of depression and indecision about his future. One evening he sees a couple who look vaguely familiar. They prove … Continue reading

Yonder by E. H. Young (1912)

Review by Jane V: Alexander is a country boy living in a remote place with his mother, a strong, capable character, and his father, a weak failure of a man whose heredity has made him so. Theresa is a lively, highly imaginative girl who lives in a port town with her father who is a … Continue reading

The Vicar’s Daughter by E. H. Young (1928)

Review by Margaret B: The story takes place over a period of a week at the end of the summer. Edward Stack, his wife Margaret and their nineteen year old daughter, Hilary, return from two months’ holiday. Edward’s cousin Maurice Roper has been looking after Edward’s parish while they are away. Just after they had … Continue reading

Confessions and Impressions by Ethel Mannin (1930)

This book has a fair amount in common with Beverley Nichols’ autobiography-but-really-about-other -people Twenty-Five. Just shows the appetite for celebrity gossip has existed for many years! Nichols was himself a literary celebrity and appears in Mannin’s book. She rated his ‘genius’ over Noel Coward! (For an academic article in which I analyse Nichols at great … Continue reading

The Killer and the Slain by Hugh Walpole (1942)

Review by Thecla: This is a dark, uncanny novel, one of Walpole’s macabre works. It is subtitled “A Strange Story” and the dedication to Henry James reads “This macabre is dedicated in loving memory and humble admiration to the great author of The Turn of the Screw.” This is Walpole’s version of the doppelgänger story. … Continue reading