Tagged with Family fiction

Caroline (1936), by Richmal Crompton

Funny how Caroline’s eyes betrayed her exasperation rather than her voice or manner. They were almost grey when she was pleased, but they turned a clear cold blue when she was annoyed or irritated. (ch 2) In Caroline and other novels, like Narcissa (1941), Richmal Crompton explores appalling, outrageous, even monstrous behaviour masquerading as normal; … Continue reading

Millicent Dorrington (1927) by Richmal Crompton

Book Review by George S: I’ve always thought of Richmal Crompton as the quintessential Home Counties writer. The smugness of that area has never been beter caught than in Crompton’s depiction of the commuter-belt village that so restricts the free spirit of William. But in fact, she was born and brought up in Bury, and … Continue reading

Merlin Bay (1930) by Richmal Crompton

Merlin Bay (1930) by Richmal Crompton Book review by Frances S: I first came upon William Brown in a 1950s edition of William Carries On from the family bookcase and subsequently enjoyed various television adaptations and the Martin Jarvis Radio 4 readings. I knew very little about Richmal Crompton herself until Reading 1900-1950 invited us … Continue reading

Hatter’s Castle (1931) by A J Cronin

Book Review by Sylvia D: I decided to read Hatter’s Castle for the Scottish and Welsh session, because, apart from the treatment of its women characters, Cronin’s The Citadel was a good read with a strong message. Hatter’s Castle was his first novel and couldn’t be more different from The Citadel. It is 600 pages … Continue reading

The Amazing Summer (1941) by Philip Gibbs

Review by Sylvia D: Philip Gibbs’ The Amazing Summer (1941) is a good example of his journalistic novel-writing, set as it is against a backdrop of the hot and sunny summer of 1940, the Battle of Britain and the early months of the Blitz. It has resonances with Elizabeth Goudge’s The Castle on the Hill … Continue reading

Lords and Masters (1936) by A.G. Macdonell

Book Review by George S.: A. G. Macdonell is best known for his comic novel, England, Their England. Lords and Masters is a comic novel, too, but the humour is much blacker, tinged by despair at the international situation during the 1930s. The novel centres on a wealthy Kensington family. James Hanson is a self-made … Continue reading

Pomfret Towers (1938) by Angela Thirkell

This is a comic novel about a group of families in Barsetshire – the imaginary county that Angela Thirkell took over from Anthony Trollope. Much of it happens during an eventful weekend party at Pomfret Towers, home of Lord Pomfret, whose rudeness is a constant source of embarrassment to others and delight for the reader. … Continue reading

The Whicharts (1931) by Noel Streatfeild

Book review by George S: I should probably start this review with a trigger warning. It may cause disquiet and consternation to anyone for whom Ballet Shoes was an essential and much-loved part of their childhood.