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The Village Paperback – 22 Sep 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Persephone Books Ltd; First Edition edition (22 Sept. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903155428
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903155424
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 2.8 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 195,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'A precise, evocative but unsentimental account of a period of transition ... an absorbing, traditionally organised novel of English village life.' -- Charlotte Moore The Spectator 23 October 2004


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By sunnylanes VINE VOICE on 22 Sept. 2004
Format: Paperback
A searing dissection of the post war era and the valiant but misguided attempts that were made to re-establish the class structure in all it's crumbling glory. Never accept help from "Poor People" was the maxim of the 'haves' except it would seem they were rapidly becoming the people in need of help and not just financial help at that.It is the 'working classes' who come out of this book emotionally intact leaving those living at the 'top of the hill' trapped in their class bound, and rapidly changing existence.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was fascinating to this American reader. The plot was pretty predictable, as were many of the attitudes and reactions of the characters, but the evocation of village life in England just after the war was what made the book special. But while I knew the divide between the working class and their "betters," what was revealing was the intricacy of social relations within the classes. And though I know the difference between tea and high tea, I finally learned the rules of making a formal call on someone.

What surprised me was the author's comparing the relations between the two major social classes in England to the relations between white Americans and African-Americans, and I think she really hit on something.

I gave the book 4 stars, not 5, because the whole plot was contrived to reveal all the social aspects the author wanted to get at, which made the plot secondary. So if you want a gripping novel, this isn't the book for you, but it's a great way to learn about life in England in the early postwar period. I'd love to see a review by someone who lived through the period who comments on the accuracy, but I suspect these people are no longer alive alas.
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Format: Paperback
Hard to add anything more to the excellent book description above. But can't you just imagine this book being a wonderful film, maybe by David Lean ...
Very enjoyable, but not quite in the same league as the heart-rending Little Boy Lost by the same author.
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Format: Paperback
This book was a bit out of my comfort zone as I normally read contemporary books. The Village was written in 1952 and the story starts on the day that the war in Europe ended. Mrs Wendy Trevor, an upper class woman with no money, and Mrs Edith Wilson, a working class woman whose family are making a decent wage, go for the last time to the Red Cross post. The war has thrown them together and class differences were no longer important, but with the end of the war Wendy expects things to go back to normal, but Edith and other people in a similar social position know that they are no longer to be quite so looked down upon. When Wendy's daughter and Edith's son take a shine to each other it causes some consternation in the village.

I thought this was an excellent and interesting look at the class system and village politics. I really liked the growing relationship between Margaret Trevor and Roy Wilson and was rooting for them not to be deterred by the villagers. The working classes certainly came off the best in this novel! It made me smile and the author has a wry sense of humour in her writing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After the dissarray of the Second World War the cosy order of the English class system is turned on its head. How to maintain superiority without money becomes a distressing problem for some, especially when family affairs of the heart threaten the old reassuring boundaries. A double insult is a working class with rising wages and lowering inhibitions...
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Format: Paperback
What a lovely book. The characters are so well drawn, and in their just post WW2 setting, illustrate the English class system beautifully. The description of rural Oxfordshire life is very evocative and I got lost in the pages of this book.
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