Tagged with domestic fiction

Mrs Frensham Describes a Circle (1943) by Richmal Crompton

Book review by George S: Mrs Frensham Describes a Circle is about an extended family in an English country town during the Blitz. Richmal Crompton shows how the war brings out different responses in the varied personalities of the family, and suggests which temperaments are best able to deal with a historical crisis.

The Three Miss Kings by Ada Cambridge

Book review by Sylvia D: The Three Miss Kings by Ada Cambridge (1844-1926) was serialised in The Australasian in 1883. It was then published by Heinemann in England and Australia in 1891 and I read a Virago 1987 edition.

She Was His Wife (1936) by Augusta Varty-Smith

Book Review by Sylvia D: My second book from the Mark Valentine donation is Augusta Varty-Smith’s She Was His Wife, published by Heath Cranton in 1936. Peter Carmichael is a successful, third generation City businessman whose father had built up an extensive estate, Long Ashes, a train ride away from the City, and had provided … Continue reading

Just Like Aunt Bertha by W. Pett Ridge (1925)

Review by Helen N: The book centres round Aunt Bertha, a woman of resource who deals with both a professional life and sorting out all of her friends and acquaintances. They get into scrapes and she sorts them out, while being constantly criticised for interfering. It is a good-humoured book and written to entertain. Just … Continue reading

The New House by Lettice Cooper (1936)

Review by Sylvia D: Very little seems to happen in The New House (1936).  Over one long day a widowed mother and her 30-something daughter move from a large imposing secluded house with beautiful gardens to a much smaller one overlooked by a housing estate.  The old house is to be knocked down to make … Continue reading

The Village by Marghanita Laski (1952)

Review by Val H: Oh how I enjoyed The Village (1952) by Marghanita Laski! On the surface, it is a simple, even dull love story, but this is merely a cover for a witty and fluent examination of class in England immediately after World War II. In places the novel has dated, but to anyone … Continue reading

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

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