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The Little House (Isis) Audio Cassette – Audiobook, 1 May 1998


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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Isis; Unabridged edition (1 May 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753102889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753102886
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 16.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Born in Kenya in 1954, Philippa Gregory moved to England with her family and was educated in Bristol and at the National Council for the Training of Journalists course in Cardiff. She worked as a senior reporter on the Portsmouth News, and as a journalist and producer for BBC Radio.

Philippa obtained a BA degree in History at the University of Sussex in Brighton and a PhD at Edinburgh University in 18th-century literature. Her first novel, Wideacre, was written as she completed her PhD and became an instant worldwide bestseller. On its publication, she became a full-time writer.

Wideacre was followed by a haunting sequel, The Favoured Child, and the delightful happy ending of the trilogy: Meridon. This novel was listed in Feminist Book Fortnight and for the Romantic Novel of the Year at the same time.

Her next book was The Wise Woman, a dazzling, disturbing novel of dark powers and desires set against the rich tapestry of the Reformation. Then came Fallen Skies, an evocative realistic story set after the First World War. Her novel A Respectable Trade took her back to the 18th century where her knowledge of the slave trade and her home town of Bristol explored the human cost of slavery. Gregory adapted her book for a highly acclaimed BBC television production which won the prize for drama from the Commission for Racial Equality and was shortlisted for a BAFTA for the screenplay.

Next came Earthly Joys and Virgin Earth, based on the true-life story of father and son both named John Tradescant working in the upheaval of the English Civil War. In these works Gregory pioneered the genre which has become her own: fictional biography, the true story of a real person brought to life with research and verve.

The jewel in the crown of this new style was undoubtedly The Other Boleyn Girl, a runaway bestseller which stormed the US market and then went worldwide telling the story of the little-known sister to Anne Boleyn. Now published globally, this classic historical novel won the Parker Pen Novel of the Year award 2002 and the Romantic Times fictional biography award. The Other Boleyn Girl was adapted for the BBC as a single television drama and by Sony as a major motion picture starring Scarlett Johansson as Mary Boleyn, Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn and Eric Bana as Henry VIII.

After adding five more novels to her Tudor Court series including The Constant Princess and The Queen's Fool, two of her best-loved works, Philippa moved back in time to write about the family that preceded the Tudors, the Plantagenets. Her bestselling six-book Cousins' War series tells the story of the bloody struggle for the throne in the Wars of the Roses from the perspective of the women behind the scenes. The White Queen, The Red Queen and The Kingmaker's Daughter were adapted by the BBC and Starz in 2013 as the hugely popular TV miniseries The White Queen.

Having completed The Cousins' War series with The King's Curse, Philippa has come full circle back to the Tudor court. Her next novel will be about Kateryn Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII: The Taming of the Queen. Her other work in progress is the young adult series The Order of Darkness, set in medieval Italy after the fall of Constantinople, feared at the time to be a sign of the end of the world.

A regular contributor to newspapers and magazines, with short stories, features and reviews, Philippa is also a frequent broadcaster, a regular contestant on Round Britain Quiz for BBC Radio 4 and the Tudor expert for Channel 4's Time Team. As well as her extensive array of historical novels she has written modern novels, children's books, a collection of short stories, and a non-fiction book with David Baldwin and Michael Jones: The Women of the Cousins' War.

She lives in the North of England with her family and in addition to interests that include riding, walking, skiing and gardening (an interest born from research into the Tradescant family for her novel Virgin Earth) she also runs a small charity building wells in school gardens in The Gambia.

Product Description

Review

‘Fiendishly plotted… this is Gregory at her most convincing. Sunday lunch with the in-laws will never be the same again’
Cosmopolitan

‘Insidiously gripping’ Independent

‘Brilliant psychological chiller… utterly, nail-nibblingly plausible. You will relish its explosive climax and be gripped through to its final superb double-twist finish’ Daily Mail

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

It was easy for Elizabeth. She married the man she loved, bore him two children and made a home for him which was the envy of their friends.

It was harder for Ruth. She married Elizabeth’s son and then found out that, somehow, she could never quite measure up.

Isolation, deceit and betrayal fill the gaps between the two individual women and between their two worlds. In this complex psychological thriller, the disturbing depths of what women want and what women fear become all too apparent as Ruth confronts the shifting borders of her own sanity. Laying bare the truth behind the comfortable conventions of rural England, this spine-tingling novel pulses with suspense until the whiplash of the denouement.

‘This is Gregory at her most chillingly convincing.
Sunday lunch with the in-laws will never be the same’
COSMOPOLITAN

‘Insidiously gripping’
INDEPENDENT

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Veronica VINE VOICE on 26 Sept. 2003
Format: Paperback
The Little House is a remarkable gem of a psychological thriller. It makes even the most normal, everyday events seem sinister and riveting.
The plot focuses on Ruth who is talked into starting a family by her husband and living down the road from his upper class parents in the country. Then the nightmare unfolds. The book is a masterpiece of claustrophobia as Ruth’s in-laws intrude more and more into her life. All throughout the book I felt tense and unsettled – just as I love to be when I am reading a thriller. I could absolutely empathise with Ruth and as her situation got worse and worse I was routing for her all the way.
Ruth is a delightful, yet in some ways tragic character. She is a successful journalist and yet her past has meant that she is needy and desperately seeking love. She thinks she has found a family which she can belong to at long last in her in-laws but what she fails to realise is that they want to control her. The mother in-law, father in-law, and Ruth’s husband Patrick are chillingly plausible and well developed. The beauty in this novel is that unlike in many other psychological thriller’s these three characters are not evil, they truly believe they are doing the best for Ruth and themselves – even as they push her further and further towards the limits of her own sanity.
Overall The Little House is a fantastic study of relationships between a woman and her in-laws and how the ordinary things can lead someone to madness, and to do the most unspeakable things. The Little House’s packs a hard, chilling punch, especially as the ending is so unexpected and compelling. I would recommend this book unreservedly.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By S. Mcgregor on 11 Oct. 2005
Format: Paperback
I couldn't put it down... It's one of those books you remember. My stomach turned with every page as the tense and twisted plot unfolded...
I willed the central character to wake up and see her scheming mother in law for what she was....
...and I cursed her weak and childish husband.
I really didn't see that ending coming either.
This book is for every woman who feels like she's married her inlaws ...... (and for every grown man who still lets his mum do his ironing.)
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Mar. 2002
Format: Paperback
I have never read any of Philippa Gregory's books before and I only came upon this one by chance. The title and the cover are deceiving, as this is no mushy love story. It seems to be quite innocent on the surface, but has very sinister undertones. I was gripped from the beginning and I couldn't wait to read more! This certainly won't be the last Philipa Gregory book I read!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Fitzgerald on 18 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
I've read a few of the Tudor Court novels (which I love) and until recently didn't know the author had written contemporary stuff as well. I'm not sure however that I would agree with all the positive reviews on here about this book. This book is okay, nothing special and the 'double twist' ending just didn't have any impact on me at all. The plot is okay but I think the book is let down by the characters. Elizabeth the perfect wife and mother employs a cleaner to do her own housework whilst criticising Ruth for the standard of hers. Patrick is vain, shallow, spoiled through and through and selfish. His mother's fault of course; Patrick's never lifted a finger in his life and is shocked to be asked to do things like put a dirty nappy in the bin, or peel a few spuds! I know it's a work of fiction but it just doesn't contain, for me at least, believable characters. Thomas is the only one who behaves normally. The book says that Elizabeth 'made a home which was the envy of their friends'. What friends!? Not a single one shows up all through the book - the only person Elizabeth and Frederick have any social contact with is their son. No wonder they're desperate to keep him. And what of Miriam, Patrick's sister? She's living in Canada and it's hinted at that she does not get along with her parents, or more specifically, her mother. But why? This is never explained. The novel left me with too many irritations: Ruth is weak and should have stood up to her pathetic husband in the first place; Patrick needs to grow up; and both him and his parents need to cut the apron strings. One more thing that struck me: the references to egg meals. Elizabeth cooks boiled eggs and soldiers for her son's breakfast (a grown man who is supposed to be a bigwig in media not a little boy at school!); she serves up omelettes or quiche with salad for lunch. The original mother hen with her eggs. I wasn't impressed with this book and shall stick with the historial ones in future.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Jun. 2002
Format: Paperback
I would urge anyone to have a go at reading this wonderful book. Granted, the style of the narrative and cover might not immediately alert you that this is an exciting psychological thriller but just wait until you really get into the story! The main character is Ruth who due to a bleak past has become a woman that is easily led and pushed around by her in-laws, and indeed her husband for fear of displeasing and losing them. The novel focusses on how someone can be pushed to the very limit of their control and what happens when they are forced over the edge. Ruth was a believable, gripping character. I even found myself feeling suffocated and powerless against her in-laws and husband through the superb narrative and dialogue. Other reviewers have sugested that Ruth is not a 'modern woman', maybe this is true to some extent, but I feel the point is that the story can only happen because as Ruth had a tough childhood (I won't give the details away) she feels unable to stand up for herself or her family, therefore, the book does make sense taken in the correct context. Ruth is a vulnerable, trapped woman and the story is timeless.
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