Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Without Servants in Wartime, 19 Aug. 2007
This review is from: House-Bound (Paperback)
It would be interesting to read this book alongside the newly published Virginia Woolf and the Servants by Alison Light: it is about a woman who does her own housework during the war - because she cannot find a servant - and in this respect looks forward to the second half of the twentieth century rather than back to the first. Nor is Rose, the heroine, resentful because she does her own cooking and cleaning, in fact she feels as though she is doing something rather new and original, which (for a woman of her type) she was. Yet she discovers she is surprisingly exhausted; and also she accepts the stupidity of many of the domestic conventions she used to make such efforts to perpetuate. The novel is funny even though the tragedies of the war are ever-present; and there is the unusual theme of Rose's daughter being angry and miserable and how they both deal with it. Although this book is not brillliantly written I could see why Penelope Fitzgerald loved it. (Other books with which it can be compared are The Diary of a Provincial Lady by EM Delafield and One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes; the first is about a woman who, like Virginia Woolf, cannot imagine doing her own housework and the second is about another woman who has to adjust, post-war, to not having servants any more.)
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Oct 2011 20:34:18 BDT
roger cohen says:
reviewed on radio 4 last night, hence my interest. the reviews are helpful, but does it really cost £199 ?
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3.7 out of 5 stars (6 customer reviews)
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