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Karen K.

This sounds really interesting -- I have Towers of Trebizond on my TBR shelf and she seems like an author really worth exploring. Luckily the college library nearby seems to have a good selection of her works, including this one (though not with the lovely Virago cover).

Walter Mason

How wonderful to see a Rose Macauley book reviewed - I hadn't even heard of this one. You have the most remarkable reading tastes!
I am definitely putting this one on my list!


Karen--My library only has a very few of her books but I've accumulated a couple of Viragos on my own and am tempted to start another of her books sooner rather than later. I think The Towers of Trebizond is her most famous? I, too, want to explore more of her work!
Walter--You're right--she isn't someone you see written about much lately, which is a pity! I have to give a friend credit for pressing this particular book into my hands--though I had planned on reading her at some point--this just meant I got to do so sooner than later. I love discovering good authors like this who aren't much read or talked about these days.


Thanks for a wonderful review. This is certainly a book I'd like to read. When you watch a lot of war/war time movies like myself you are familiar with the sight of bombed out London. Many movies use original footage. It's hard to believe people managed to reconstruct.
Especially in Germany you can feel that the houses are brand new even though they look old. Nuremberg is the most impressive, I thought.


I've never read Rose Macaulay but I think I should! Thanks for the review.


I am so delighted you enjoyed this! I did pick up the Rose Macauley I saw in the bookshop (of course I did), and I'm looking forward to reading it even more than ever. Wonderful review, Danielle.

Simon T

Great review, Danielle. I haven't read this, or her other most famous novel you mention above The Towers of Trebizond, but I have read three or four of her other novels, and I think she's wonderfully clever. I recommend Crewe Train or Keeping Up Appearances. But I have so many more to read by her... and I have a book signed by her too!


I keep starting The Towers of Trebizond but stopping after a couple of pages. You inspire me to try again now!


I don't recall hearing anything much about this author before!


I've had Macaulay's Towers of Trebizond on my TBR list ofr ages. I really must get around to it. Maybe I have been unknowingly saving it because it is likely I will want to read her other books too.


I've never read Macaulay, but this book sounds like a good place to begin!


Caroline--I should really ask you for some movie recommendations. I have only seen photos and a little documentary footage of what these cities were like--I'm not sure I can really imagine. I think you'd like the Macaulay--I was thinking of you when I read it.
Harriet--She really is very good and I think you'd like her. I plan on reading more--I have a couple of her other books in my pile luckily.
Litlove--So glad you bought this one. I'm tempted to buy it even though I was good and read a library copy. I would love to hear what you think of it!
Simon--You have a most envious book collection--I would love a signed copy of anything! I have Crewe Train, so will have to go pull it from my pile. I like her writing style and have heard she is actually quite humorous. I'm glad I finally read something by her and now look forward to exploring more!
Bibliolathas--I always thought Towers of Trebizond was a travel narrative but have just discovered it is a novel. Maybe if you can't get into it, another would click better? I've noticed with some books it is really a matter of timing and if I leave it until later I like a book more than trying to force it. Of course also, sometimes I find I just need to stick with a book long enough to really get into it and will breeze right through!
Marg--I think maybe she is not read much these days, which is too bad. I plan on trying more of her books--there are always so many books to choose from it can be hard squeezing them all in.
Stefanie--And now that you are a free (free from school) woman you can read at whim. If I like an author I tend to want to read everything else they've written--it makes for a very large wishlist/TBR pile! :)
Jenclair--This was my first Macaulay novel--I very much liked it and I think it must be as good a place to start as any. I'm very curious now to go back and read more of her work.


Lovely review. I've pulled TWMW off the tbr shelves onto the tbr pile & after reading Fair Stood the Wind for France last week, I feel in the mood for more WWII inspired books.


Lyn--I was thinking of you when I wrote this as I think you would like it very much, too. I'm getting into a WWII mood as well, though not just British books but have had an interest lately in reading more about the Italian experience as well. I'm also rereading One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes, which I am sure you've already read--which is a really lovely book!


I came back to this review because I was wondering whether I should include this or Coventry in my readalong next year. I think it will be Coventry. I've added one about which I read on Guy's blog by Balchin
which is set in London during the Blitz, so it would have been interesting to pair them but I'm afraid this book is harder to get than the newer Coventry.
My list has already undergone so many changes.


Caroline--I really liked this and it is definitely worth looking for, but it might not be the best choice for a group sort of read since it is out of print. Coventry is more recent and should be readily available both here and in Europe/UK. I had to look Balchin up and it also looks good. I'm very curious now to see your list and it would be hard to find just the right dozen books! Maybe I'll save Coventry if you think you will be using it for the readalong.


Danielle, I have decided to use it but earliest in March or April as the first two or three books will be WWI again. I'm sure Balchin is good but I need to see whether it's not out of print as well. I've changed that list so many times. I want a nice mix between books that will not be too depressing and the more literary ones that tend to be on the depressing side.
One aim was to stay under 300 pages.


Caroline--I think the Balcin book is out of print, but I thought it looked really good so ordered a cheap used copy, which I will read in any case. I was interested since it is not a contemporary novel but written earlier from what I could tell. I'm not in any rush to read Coventry as I have Plenty of other books I have on my reading list to get to now. I think I also need a few lighter books after reading Böll and Fontane--even the Wallner is a little depressing, though all have been good. And it is an excellent idea to stay around or less than 300 pages--I still want to finish History but I may have to work on it for a little while longer. It would be very hard deciding which books to read with so many choices out there!

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