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Oh! I still have one too! I wish I had saved all of them. There's definitely a 'Common Reader book,' something you can identify even if it was never listed there. :)


Wow, this sounds lovely! It's always a good sign when you wish a book was longer than it was :-)


I know exactly what you mean! I know there are lots of places now online to find books like that, but it was so nice to have them all in one place and they always had an interesting blurb about them--the owners had so obviously read the books or knew about them and wanted to hand sell them to their readers. I should dig out my catalogs and see if I find anything 'new' there that I missed the first time around! :)


It was really good and I am sad that I don't have more to read. I have ordered a book by her about a bike ride she took across the US (unfortunately the only copies out there are large print), and I am trying to get her novel through interlibrary loan. I could pick up this book and start reading it again and am sure I would find it just as enjoyable!


This does really sound wonderful. Hard to imagine growing up like this. When food is so scarce but in a place like this.
I'd really like to know what the novel is like. The title is a bit odd.


It's a gem of a book and a top favourite of mine, so I'm delighted to see you loved it, too!

Liz F

I have heard of this - probably from Cornflower I think.
One to look out for as I like this sort of memoir.


Goodness, arguing over a spoonful of peas when the parents had enough money to make sure they were all decently fed. How she isn't resentful is a marvel. I do remember that Common Reader catalog. I loved them so!


I think it wasn't so much a problem of scarcity of food--they grew quite a bit of their own food--but I think the parents were simply so strict with a sort of 'buck up' attitude that the children weren't meant to show hunger as that was somehow weak. All very interesting, but it was so good--I think this has been one of my favorite reads of the year. And the title for her novel is odd--I am hoping to get a copy via ILL--I keep watching for it every day. Maybe the title will be explained in it? I'll let you know if it is.


I did love it--so glad I finally picked it up as I think it is one of my favorite reads this year. And to think how long it sat on my shelf and I would look right past it. Have you read her other books? I only wish she had written more--I would love to find out what her life was like after when she moved to London with her mother!


I was wondering if Cornflower had read this--I was thinking of her as I was reading. I love this sort too, and this one is really excellent--definitely look for it, as I think you'd like it!


Isn't that wild? She only lived in the castle her first ten years and then they went to London under different circumstances. I think her life there was much different and probably when she wrote about it much later she had time and distance to separate her from the experience--well, only guessing that. I think she did resent her father, however. I think I am going to look for my Common Reader catalogs, so I can sigh over what once was... :)


Sounds like an irresistible read, and a happy surprise. Better than having a book on your shelves for years, taking it down to read and finding you don't like it at all, which sometimes happens too.


Wouldn't that have been awful? I think I would have slid it back on the shelf quickly if it hadn't caught my interest right away.


I often follow up on your comments with a visit to the public libray but this title is only in Reference, so I have actually ordered it from Amazon; I am really trying hard not to buy books but this sounds like a keeper. Thank you for discussing a book that I would never have heard of otherwise.


Your library has quite a few noncirculating books of this type, don't they? It's really a pity it can't be checked out. I do think, though it is well worth the price of buying (and I think there are cheap used copies around?)--I am happy to have a copy of my own. I could easily have gone right back to the beginning and started it all over again. I am sure I will reread it at some point. I have requested the novel she wrote from ILL and ordered her book about cycling cross country as well! :)


Oh this sounds wonderful and something I am sure I would love. I will have to look out for it.


It was really very good--maybe one of my favorites this year as a matter of fact! She is well worth searching out--maybe you'll come across her book in your used bookstore? I love memoirs like this!

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