- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Head of Zeus (1 Feb. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1908800437
- ISBN-13: 978-1908800435
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.6 x 19.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 75 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 308,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Habits of the House (Love and Inheritance) Paperback – 1 Feb 2013
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'Hugely enjoyable' Tatler.
'A splendidly fun romp' The Times.
'Weldon at her most spellbinding' The Spectator.
About the Author
Fay Weldon's credits include classic novels like The Life and Loves of a She Devil and Growing Rich, and the pilot episode of the original TV series Upstairs, Downstairs. In 2001 she was awarded a CBE for services to literature.
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To say the style was pedestrian is unkind to walkers. It limped along, with the occasional spurt that led me to hope that, after all, there was something to look forward to. I continued to look forward... And then it ended! Had I paid more than £0.65p I may have tried to return it. Come back Barbara Cartland and Mills & Boon all is forgiven - your novels were eminently superior! (And I haven't read one of those for years...)
Historically accurate? Maybe not but who cares? Fay Weldon is not a historian but an iconoclast and not afraid to poke fun at everyone and everything. No-one escapes her excoriating wit. But she does it with such wit and style that I was chuckling to myself from start to finish.
It seems to me reading the reviews here and even in the so-called 'quality' press that most people seem to have missed just how funny this book is. It is also a satire on the current love affair with toffs and titles. What genius thought to sticker the book with the label 'if you love Downton Abbey, you'll love this' or words to that effect.
What a lovely joke. In Downton the toffs are noble and worthy and the servants loyal (apart from a bit of childish silliness.) Here the toffs who run the country are dim but sure know how to survive and the servants rub along well enough. It is the well-meaning and decent folk like the honest but socially upward-striving Baums who are squeezed into the middle and feel aggrieved. The poor old middle-classes. No one likes them. 'Twas ever thus.
I loved it and can't wait for the next two in the trilogy. In my opinion, Fay Welson is woefully underrated as one of the wittiest, most clever and sharp-eyed novelists of our time.
I found this book an addictive read and fans of Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey will love this book.
It wasn't a challenging read but even so I really enjoyed it as something light and easy to quickly read. I will definitely be reading the next 2 books in the series.
Fay Weldon, the author, is a well known author of this time in history. The beginning of the 1900's, a time when England was in a period of change,a war on the horizon and in Weldon's world, women are not shy, domestic women. They speak up, and exact revenge against their faithless husbands. They are also brave, feisty and sometimes funny. In this book, we learn all about the Upstairs group. The life of the Earl of Dilberne, his wife, Isobel, son, Arthur, and daughter, Rosina. Difficult financial times have hit the family, and Arthur is to marry a rich heiress. The Downstairs group steam open letters to find the news of the family. All the action is with the Upstairs. It seems as if the author has taken the plot from the BBC series and transplanted it into her story. There are the uptight English classes,and the brash Americans. Descriptions of the homes, clothes and culture abound, very stereotypical.
At times the book seems as a script ready for the taking. The characters are sketched out, but rather skimpy. They seem lackluster, and wanting. It is not until the last few chapters that the characters feel fully fleshed and real people, interesting people! Book one of the trilogy has provided a base, not a great book but sufficient.
Recommended. prisrob 04-16-13
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