- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Virago (1 Mar. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1844088049
- ISBN-13: 978-1844088041
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.8 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 465,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Corner That Held Them (VMC) Paperback – 1 Mar 2012
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A magnificent recreation of the life of a medieval convent, dense with physical detail and imagined lives (Philip Hensher, DAILY TELEGRAPH)
A masterful historical novel of monastic life, set in the 14th century. Many consider this Townsend Warner's most accomplished work.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
In the first chapter we find out how a convent is formed and then we are taken to it being established and an idea of a spire being added to the church. This is more about the community of the convent than individuals and whilst we start off with an outbreak of plague only certain major events in the period this covers seems to be ever known by the nuns. The convent, set in the Fens in Norfolk is to a degree isolated and most information and gossip they receive are from travellers, and religious visitors. As with any community the nuns have their own ambitions and foibles. With a murder, a priest who isn't and other events this is a book that you can really get into.
There is quite a bit of humour here, especially with all the rumours that appear over things that happen in the area. One thing happens and different people seem to know all about it, although what they say is highly elaborated and tall tales are common. People leave and die, and others arrive, and this with only certain events filtering through to the nuns from the outside world give this particular tale a feeling of timelessness. This may not be something that you would normally read, but if you decide to get this, once you have started it is hard to put down.
Here and there in this mainly grey drabness - place and story - there are beautiful phrases, images that stop you dead in your tracks while you think them through. They are like jewels in the mud.
At one point I was rather confused by the names of some of the characters - Alice, Alicia, Adela - what is it about names all beginning with the same letter? And why stop at A? But maybe this is just me and one of my pet dislikes.
All in all it's a lovely read. It meanders along like one of the little streams in the landscape, occasionally silting up but usually just trickling steadily along.
I read this as a tree book by the way and if I read it again it will have to be on the Kindle as the font was tiny tiny tiny!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good - felt rather like you were eavesdropping on the convent rather than a standard plot driven novel, however that is a real problem when it gets to the end because it doesn't! Read morePublished on 7 Aug. 2013 by Jo Brookes