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Comment: 1992 Virago Softcover. Good clean copy . Dispatched from UK within 1 working day.
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Daughters of the House Book Club Unknown Binding – 17 Sep 1992

3.9 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Virago Press (17 Sept. 1992)
  • ISBN-10: 1853819891
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853819896
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Remarkable and beautifully written (INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)

A brave and richly imagined novel, full of thrilling set pieces. The new prestige it seems likely to earn for one of our best writers is long overdue. (GUARDIAN)

Subtle and persuasive (COSMOPOLITAN)

An intense piece of writing, in which the transfigured mundane world of recipes, parental prohibitions and almost ritualised gossip is posed against official purity and religiosity, and shown to be superior. (TLS) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Utterly beguiling' Joanna Trollope --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Given its French setting, I would immediately recommend this exquisitely written novel to anyone who has marvelled over the consummate skill behind Monet’s Impressionist paintings of Rouen Cathedral: indistinct blurs which come into focus when you step away from them. And, in a literary context, one of those novels about a difficult and ambiguous past, where the reader reconstructs that past along with the main characters.
Considering that so little is explicitly said, the summer spent by two adolescent girls in post-Second World War France is vividly rendered. The allusive titles of the chapters - “The Frying-Pan”, “The Oranges”, “The Ironing-Board” - are an important clue to the oppressively domestic setting, but also to the way in which deep and disturbing truths lie behind apparently ordinary objects. And the same is true of words. “Her words shot out in a clatter”, reads one sentence about half-way through the narrative. And, throughout the novel, words do indeed clatter, and resound and reverberate, echoing and amplifying earlier words, combining to show how deep and unpleasant truths are to be found beneath platitudinous surfaces.
The veneer of civilised behaviour is always thin and precarious in Michèle Roberts’s novel. And there are dark forests and dark cellars to mirror the dark secrets the novel gradually unfolds. The whole novel is a dark diamond, and one which demands to be contemplated more than once.
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By A Customer on 28 Oct. 2002
Format: Paperback
Michele Roberts's 'Daughters of the House' is an eminently re-readable book, haunting and beautiful. Taking as its central conceit the sanitised figure of St. Therese, the novel examines the circumstances bringing her to this point, revealing a web of intrigue and betrayal.
One of Roberts's preoccupations in this novel is the nature of relationships between women, particularly as young girls fighting for both individuality and acceptance. Therese and her 'cousin' Leonie exist almost as the mirror of one another, bound together by their exclusion from family secrets.
The novel is beautifully written, but unobtrusively so; it is carefully constructed to portray a sense of the pre-linguistic state in which the girls exist. It's a truly extraordinary book that I've read at least half-a-dozen times, and will be reading again; every reading reveals another slant, just as Roberts looks beyond the saint to the woman.
The Virgin Mary haunts this book, suggesting the paradoxical nature of femininity that Leonie and Therese are expected to conform to; in this sense, Michele Roberts can be seen as a successor to Margaret Atwood and Sylvia Plath.
In short: this is a fantastic book, well worth putting time aside for, both to read it, and then simply to consider the points it raises. Wonderful, and highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
This book divulges into the lives of two cousins who have both been brought up in two very different cultures. One cousin has been brought up in England with her French Mother and English Father, the other has been raised in France where the family has lived since the war.
At first you may find yourself slightly confused about the organization of the book as it starts near the end of the story where the cousins are meeting again for the first time in many years. It then starts to tell the story of their upbringing from when they were young children who once played together, which eventually leads on to explain their estrangement and feelings towards one another. The book then goes on to tell how it has affected their relationship and themselves now they're older. This order of events is carefully put together, meaning you find yourself constantly looking for reasons as to why their relationship is as it is, helping you to fully understand the ending in greater depth.
If you like your reads straight to the point then this isn't the book for you. With a story where the characters, scenes and objects are as fully built as the plot, you need to have an interest in description in order to keep full attention. Whereas if this sounds like you, then the attention to detail will greatly gratify your needs.
The blurb for Daughter's of the House does not give the book justice as it is a lot more than two girls discovering secrets from their parents past, the way Roberts develops the cousins relationship throughout the book is as compelling to read as the plot itself. Overall, brilliantly written making you want to know more.
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Format: Paperback
"Daughters of the House, by Michele Roberts, is an outstanding novel. Roberts retells the story of St. Therese of Lisieux with a new twist. It is a historical fiction set in the 1950's, about Therese's life before she enters the convent. It is littered with little details to make the story more interesting and believable. Her way of describing things is so simple, that it incorporates the reader into the story. The characters, too, are believable and likeable. "Daughters of the House" gives a glimpse of what life was like for Leonie and Therese in France. The secrets they discover and uncover through their childhood games are amazingly inexplicable. The light humorous tone is a magnificent contrast as opposed to the gloomy secrets that lie withing the walls of the family residence. Roberts' novel is fascinating and absorbing. Immediately, "Daughters of the House" draws the reader in, and won't let go. It is an excellent story that surpasses many historical fiction novels.
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