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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Title: House-Bound, Publisher: Faber & Faber Ltd., London, Binding: Hardcover, 1942. 232 pages. Tan dj over orange cloth hardback with gilt lettering. Fep missing. Pages are mildly tanned but ultimately remains clear throughout. Minor shelf wear to the spine and boards. Binding remains firm. Dj moderately tanned. Minor wear to edges. Few small losses. Unclipped. Check our feedback, all books quality controlled and dispatched within 24 hours of order.
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House-Bound Hardcover – 1942

3.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Ltd., London; Fourth Impression edition (1942)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002732NNK
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,024,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This entertaining novel is set in Edinburgh during WWII. I don't think I've read another novel set in Scotland during this time. I hadn't realised they were under threat of bombing as London and other parts of England were. Rose Fairlaw is a middle-class woman who realises she can no longer find servants (the first chapter set in an employment agency is very funny). She deicdes she will do all her own housework, which was a much more serious undertaking then than it would be now. Apart from the physical drudgery, there were the social implications. I enjoyed the domestic details very much, and I thought the satire on middle-class domesticity trying to cope without servants was wonderful. Mrs Childe, the daily help who consents to pop in for two hours a day, was just perfect and her efforts to train Rose were very funny. Grannie Don't Chah See (a relation of Rose's friend, Linda) was priceless. The wartime setting was also very well-done. Rose and Stuart's marriage was really one of convenience, and this was another intersting aspect of the book. Rose's first husband was killed in WWI and Stuart's first wife died shortly after. They marry to provide a family for her daughter, Flora and his son, Mickie. They have a son, Tom, together. The problems of living without servants may seem quaint today but the dilemmas of the blended family are just as relevant now as in the 40s. The mother-daughter relationship of Rose and Flora was very realistic. Flora's feelings of abandonment because of her mother's love for Mickie, were very understandable, even though she never grew out of those feelings of self-pity and her sense of herself as an outsider. Psychologically it rang true to me. I could feel Rose's misery that all her efforts to love her daughter just weren't enough.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book deals with the life of a ( long ago) widowed and remarried upper class woman in WW2 Edinburgh. It is centred on her efforts to run her home when there is an acute shortage of domestic servants and describes a world I had never imagined existed.

I am very glad I read it but after a while I had an uncomfortable sense that I did not know for whom Winifred Peck was writing. It is unbearably poignant when it touches on her anxiety for her children and her difficult relationship with her daughter and husband but it becomes rather soap-y and trite as it goes on . It is also quite spiritual ( her father was a bishop) and involved with her relationship with God. It is a truly weird book and needs to be experienced rather than talked about. After all this I still don't know who she thought she was trying to reach!
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Format: Paperback
And this is as bad as it gets, a real dog's dinner of a book! Can only imagine that Winifred Peck was the kind pf person who thinks 'everyone has a book in them' - and this was hers! Actually, she wrote many more; let's hope they weren't all as dire as this one.
Where to start? It would have helped, as another reviewer points out, if Lady Peck had decided what she was writing about. Rose is a middle-class Edinburgh wife in a sexless marriage (but then she describes herself as 'elderly' at 50) forced to confront the wartime reality of having no servants. That might have worked fine as a theme for a novel - but Lady P gets terribly carried away by Rose's seriously dysfunctional family. (Sibling rivalries, attempted suicide, psychiatric disorders, it's all there in a terrible pot-pourri that would keep an agony aunt going for a year.) Then she throws in a heavy dose of uplifting religion of the Patience Strong/Hallmark cards variety. And, strangest of all, is the completely unconvincing, utterly bizarre character - is he meant to be funny? I wasn't sure - of an American army major, a trained shrink who turns up at times of crisis like a male Mary Poppins to make soup, offer unsolicited psychiatric advice, rescue and finally marry the suicidal daughter of the house, do the washing-up ... oh, that little American major can turn his hand to anything. 'Well, I know you'll think this an absurd thing for a commonplace plain man to tell you, but it's a fact that from that moment I felt that ordinary love was over for me, and that I'd vow myself to the service of unhappy women.'
There were times when I guffawed, this book is so bad - that was one of them - but mostly it was just boring.
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