Tagged with family saga

The Founder of the House (1935) by Naomi Jacob

Book Review by Frances S: The Founder of House is described as the first volume of Naomi Jacob’s seven-volume Gollantz saga, which seemed a good place to start but probably wasn’t. More of that later. The story opens in Paris at the home and showroom of Fernando Meldola, a Jewish antique dealer in his early … Continue reading

Rogues and Vagabonds by Compton Mackenzie (1927)

Review by Thecla W: The novel opens in 1829 with a display at Neptune’s Grotto, a pleasure garden in London. Letizia, the lively daughter of Mme Oriano, owner of a firework factory, performs by sliding down a rope as fireworks go off around her. Caleb Fuller, Madame’s business partner, is full of lust for Letizia … Continue reading

Finch’s Fortune by Mazo de la Roche (1931)

Review by Mary P: The Jalna series brought Mazo de la Roche fame and fortune with the publication of Jalna in 1927. Eleven million copies were sold, and 92 foreign editions published as well as a film and a TV series. Finch’s Fortune was the third book to be published in the series about the Whiteoak family … Continue reading

Mary Wakefield by Mazo de la Roche (1949)

Review by Sylvia D: Mary Wakefield (1949) couldn’t fail to appeal to moony 1950s and 60s teenagers dreaming of a handsome young man who will sweep them off their feet and carry them off to live happily ever after! It has all the requisites; a penniless, pretty and inexperienced Mary hired to be governess to … Continue reading

The Building of Jalna by Mazo de la Roche (1944)

Next is a series of reviews of the Jalna novels by Canadian Mazo de la Roche. There are 16 novels in the Jalna series, published from 1927 to 1960, which follow the fortunes of the Whiteoak family and their eponymous rural Ontario estate over a 100-year period. de la Roche won the prestigious $10,000 Atlantic … Continue reading

The Houses in Between by Howard Spring (1951)

This is a first-person narrative giving the life story of the fictitious Sarah Undridge, born in 1848. Her first memory is of the Crystal Palace, which then becomes a symbol and recurring image in her long life. It was called the Palace of Peace; all nations were to meet there in understanding. At the time … Continue reading

Fame is the Spur by Howard Spring (1940)

Review by George Simmers. See his Great War Fiction blog (with other posts on Howard Spring) here. This is a very readable, extremely absorbing, epic of the career of a Labour politician, tracing his life from childhood poverty to the House of Lords. It can be taken as strong’s version of the idealistic rise, and … Continue reading

Dunkerley’s by Howard Spring (1946)

Review by Sylvia D: I remember Howard Spring being a very popular writer when I was in my teens but as I was going through my “highbrow” period at the time, I chose not to read him!  When I started reading Dunkerley’s I thought at first I was going to be surprised but my initial … Continue reading

Judith Paris by Hugh Walpole (1931)

This novel was on the catalogue as ‘adventure fiction’, but a bit of a misfile there methinks. More a romantic family saga… Review by Pat P: I have read Judith Paris by Hugh Walpole, 1931, dedicated to John Galsworthy.  It is part of a historical saga about a family called Herries.  The saga extends over two … Continue reading

The Dangerous Years by Gilbert Frankau (1937)

Review by Daniel Grieve: Written by Gilbert Frankau in his later years, The Dangerous Years is a novel split into three sections, Pre-War, Post-War and Present Day, beginning two years before WWI (1912) and ending two years before WWII (1937). With a title such as The Dangerous Years I was expecting good deal of action … Continue reading