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Netherwood Paperback – 29 Sep 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere; Reprint edition (29 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751547638
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751547634
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.4 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A former BBC radio producer, married to author and Independent journalist Brian Viner, Jane Sanderson has used some of her own family history as background for her first novel.

Product Description

Review

A romping tale of history, ambition, greed and survival (Milly Johnson)

Book Description

THE novel for fans of period drama. If you watched Downton Abbey, Cranford and Larkrise to Candleford, this is the book for you.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Algernon Flowers on 29 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
This, the first in a new series, is a tale of two very different Yorkshire families a century ago, one headed by a miner, the other by Lord Hoyland, the mine owner.
Young, beautiful, Eve Williams, her devoted husband Arthur and their little family all spring to life from this book's earliest pages. Indeed, even the minor characters are solid, believable, well defined and great fun to meet.
Arthur works in Lord Hoyland's mines and earns little for long hours and dangerous work. The atmosphere of day-to-day living and survival for even these comparatively well treated families is made clear and hardship and hunger are always close by.
When Eve is widowed and faces ruin she finds that her skills as a baker are her salvation and, with a friend to help and encourage her, she soon finds her business catches the eye of more than just friends and neighbours.
Though Eve holds centre-stage with her friends and family, Lord Hoyland and his also star and both strands of the plot are told equally well. There seems little to challenge Eve's rise ever upward to success and new love so this is a happy read, though not all those around her wish her well.
Light romance? Saga? Whatever. This should not really have been my cup of tea. However, it was, and good, Yorkshire tea at that.
This is a perfect read for Downton Abbey fans (and a great number of other folk, too) and I honestly look forward to knowing what happens next.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jenna on 2 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has a lot of good things going for it. It's a drama, a social and industrial history lesson, a love story, and a family saga encompassing a rich family and a poor one. Most of all it is an intelligently written story, and running through it is a mischievously wicked sense of humour.
Eve is a character very much in the `woman of substance' mould. She finds herself in a situation where she has to work to provide for her three children, and story revolves around how she does this, with style to say the least, and the people she meets and interacts with along the way.
The Earl and Countess of Netherwood, Clarissa and Teddy Hoyland, own Netherwood Hall, as well as three local collieries, and most of the land and property in the vicinity. This aristocratic family become entwined with Eve and her business ventures, and there are a few surprises along the way. I can't say I have read many novels which have made me feel hungry, but this one did, and even had me checking out the recipes at the back of the book.
What I particularly liked was the characterisation. The author skilfully reveals enough for the reader to engage with the feelings and behaviours of each and every player in the scene. By page 20 or so, I knew who Eve was, and found myself getting acquainted with several of the other characters as well. Anna and Lady Henrietta are two other prominent female personalities who get to star in some very strong storylines, along with their male counterparts Amos, Toby Hoyland, and Eve's son Seth, to name but a few.
This is a book that flows and the writing keeps up a good pace to hold the reader's attention. I felt their sadness; I smiled a lot; and I shared in the triumphs. I've just ordered the sequel, and am looking forward to the next instalment. If it's as good as this one, all I can say is keep `em coming please.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER on 22 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
I've never watched Downton Abbey, but after reading Jane Sanderson's Netherwood, I can see where the comparison and the attraction might lie. Set in a Yorkshire mining town around 1904, Netherwood isn't Sons and Lovers or Women in Love, nor is it Lady Chatterley's Lover, lacking much of the grime, earthy poetry and literary frankness of D.H. Lawrence - but it draws from the same source towards different ends, with a more modern sensibility for a new readership.

Part of the difference - and this is the attraction that will determine whether this goes on to be a successful series of books - lies in the depiction of the characters and its gentler, more equitable attitude towards both sides of the class divide. The privileged lifestyle of the upper class family of Lord Hoyland is given almost equal time with that of Eve Williams, the wife of a working class miner in the coal pits owned by and turning in a considerable profit for the Hoyland family. There's certainly some sense of the misery and social injustice in the conditions endured by the lower classes for the benefit of a rich few with little care or conscience for their position, but it's not the main purpose of Netherwood.

Rather through an episodic series of events - entertaining, tragic, funny and romantic - Jane Sanderson's book takes a rather more open look at the period, creating strong believable, human characters (even secondary figures have unique, recognisable characteristics and attitudes), seeing the good and the bad in the lives of those upstairs, as well as those downstairs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sarah on 31 May 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I did enjoy this book. Jane Sanderson is a new author for me, but she writes beautifully. Some reviews have compared this to Downton Abbey, but it brought Catherine Cookson to mind as I read. Both comparisons are, surely, worthy ones. This books tells of a tale of two very different Yorkshire families - that of the landowner and the miner. We are first introduced to Eve and her miner husband, Arthur, and their family. Arthur works for Lord Hoyland, the mine owner and he is paid little for long arduous hours of hard graft. The battle to feed and house a family is beautifully written. My eyes flew along the lines. Eve is widowed and uses her skills as a baker to continue to take care of her family. Throughout the book the stark contrast between Eve and her family’s struggles to survive and the opulence and wealth of Lord Hoyland and his family are graphically shown. The workers before the times of union input and laws governing pay and conditions mean that the Lord of the manor rules supreme. Evictions and starvation are a reality for those who hit hard times, whilst the lord of the manor thrives. I wish more authors could write this well. The characters from the very start of the book were well developed and believable, the atmosphere almost tangible. I will be looking for more Jane Sanderson books to read, I think.
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