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Cider With Rosie

Cider With Rosie

RRP: £9.99
Price: £4.995
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Firstly let me admit that I'm a fan of history and not just battles, Kings, Queens, dates etc but socila history as well. Good-humoured, unpretentious and a bit eccentric, it's more like having a well-read friend than a subscription to a literary review. Two old ladies, so differing in their characters who despite living as neighbours never once spoke to one another yet whose lives were regulated by each others very presence. The novel is an account of Lee's childhood in the village of Slad, Gloucestershire, England, in the period soon after the First World War.

As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning is probably my favourite book of the three however all are excellent.There was a reassuring prevalence of Penguin books, resplendent in orange cummerbunds, as I rummaged through a squished cardboard box in my attic. His is a book that conjures up a distinct and unmistakable sense of place and time, not just a sequence of events. I had previously read a Penguin 60 excerpt collection To War in Spain which took from Laurie Lee's As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning and A Moment of War.

The story harks back to the rural hardship of an English village shortly after the Great War, long before such villages were served by gastropubs, delicatessens, or even motor cars. It was a small stone barn divided by a wooden partition into two rooms – The Infants and The Big Ones. The sophisticated adult author's retrospective commentary on events is endearingly juxtaposed with that of the innocent, spotty youth, permanently prone to tears and self-absorption. Here his world is large, scary, cosy and baffling, a world dominated by females and the language reflects this. Life in a rural community was as much about the daily life and way that the seasons slowed moved on slowly.

Despite the poverty, for Laurie the hugger-mugger home and the village with its familiar characters and its unchanging round were full of wonder. Yet village life could be brutal, and he acknowledges its bitter side too, the grief and violence, the neighbours destined for the workhouse. Peace Day in 1919 is a colourful affair, the procession ending up at the squire's house, where he and his elderly mother make speeches. And the tragic circumstances of Lee's mother, whose dreams were quashed by an aberrant father, and later destroyed by an absent lover.

It is also a nod to the duality of nature, the depthy of its beauty, paralleled with it's boundless power and extremities (flooding, droughts). I was perfectly content in this world of women, muddle-headed though it might be, to be bullied and tumbled through the hand-to-mouth days . The protagonist’s mother, abandoned by her husband with two families to cope with, leads a life of extraordinary drudgery, yet her longing for, and recognition of, the greater things in life rarely falters. This juxtaposition, the stark contrast between light and dark, has arguably contributed most to the book’s longstanding appeal.Cider With Rosie, considering he wrote this in his fifties, clearly shows he had a good mind, as at times you feel it's Laurie the child doing the writing, the youth and enlightenment to life's sharp realities brings a mixture of emotions, and truly showcases a by-gone era that captured the heart and soul of growing up in this specific period in time. It is easy to think of Cider with Rosie as a slice of English nostalgia, a recollection of idyllic rural village life in the early twentieth century.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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