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« January 1: Reading Notes for 2015 | Main | Short Story Sunday: An Act of Reparation »

Comments

Caroline

I love this type of book. It's really true, in some ways it was harder then but in many other ways it was much easier. Makes on nostalgic for a time one didn't even know.
I'd love to read this.

Iris

This sounds really interesting! And I'm all for 2015 being a year of more VMCs. I remember there being an event with VMCs on a few blogs a few years ago.. I wonder if it still exists? Because I'd love it to happen again (I own way too many unread VMCs).

bybee

I just read Poor Cow by Nell Dunn. It's good, too.

John Edwards

I read Up the Junction shortly after it came out - I must have been about fifteen. It was one of about thirty on a booklist of recommended books from my wonderful English teacher.
I should read it again to see what difference all this time has made of it. Saturday Night and Sunday Morning was also on the list as were many classics from all ages and Room with a View, Room at the Top and other books from that era. I so wish I still had that list.
Apropos nothing at all - Letter to Brezhnev starred the daughter of a friend of mine, Margie Clarke.

Danielle

It's pretty unimaginable to me not to have indoor plumbing (how spoiled I am but...), yet there is something about the way people lived then that is sort of inviting, too. I don't know my neighbors--there was a very different sense of community then in places like that. I know what you mean about making you nostalgic--I feel that way at times too when I am reading a book like this. I am not sure I would ever really fit into that sort of world--though had it been the only thing I knew... Anyway, this is an excellent little book--I think you would like it as a writer--appreciate the 'voice' of the characters. She really captured something special.

Danielle

It was very good. I wanted something short to start the new year off and was looking through my bookcase of VMCs (I actually now have a bookcase dedicated to them as I have also accumulated so many!). I think there was at one time a group or someone who was doing some sort of VMC readalong. Let me know if you are interested in reading something--maybe we can have some sort of loose readalong?.... I have loved (or at least appreciated) every Virago I have read.

Danielle

So glad to hear that as I ordered a copy last night! :) I watched a bit of the film on YouTube last night that was made from this book. Have you seen it? It was interesting!

Danielle

Hi John! How cool you got to read it when it was first published. It would have been an amazing book to read just as it had been written! That sounds like a most excellent English teacher to me. It is always interesting to revisit books--I wonder if this would feel dated to you since you were there so to speak? I didn't realize Saturday Night and Sunday Morning was a book--must look it up. That sounds like a great list (A Room with a View is one of my very favorite books). I remember watching Letter to Brezhnev on TV years and years ago and had forgotten about it until I saw the mention of it in the intro. Which character did she play? Must look that up, too. It's a great film really--even if it is very 1980s (that's okay--I was in Jr and Sr High School in the 80s and I have very fond memories of the times)!

iliana

What a great way to start the reading year - with such a good read! I didn't read any VMCs last year and need to remember to include them in my reading this year. I love these types of stories that are just about regular people but they way they are told make the stories so interesting.

cathy

This sounds very good! I have just reserved it at the library. Happy New Year to you, Danielle, and everyone at the blog!

Danielle

I have to admit my initial choosing of it was based on length--I just wanted a shorter novel to read on the first of the year to have something I could finish in an afternoon, but it was a book I had long wanted to read and Viragos are always good--and it turned out to be a very good choice indeed! This is definitely the sort of book where not a lot happens really--just everyday life, but is so well done! I want to read more Viragos this year, too!

Danielle

Happy New Year Cathy! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Now I have a copy of her book Poor Cow coming to me via the postal service! :)

LizF

I haven't read either of Nell Dunn's books but I do have a large number of unread VMC's! I have quite a few from when they first came out in the early 80's but I also tend to snap them up if I see the familiar green cover in a charity shop. As a result I have now lost count of exactly how many I do have but I suspect they would easily fill a small bookcase if I get around to putting them all in the same place!
BTW re outside 'conveniences': a friend who grew up in Leeds in the 1960's remembers not only having to use an outside loo but also it being shared with the occupants of the terraced house next door and I think that was the case until the mid-60's when the houses were demolished and they were re-housed.

Stefanie

Ooh, sounds good. I love when fiction does such a good job at creating a time that no longer exists. As fewer and fewer people remember a given time, it's good to know there are books like these that tell a good story and are so evocative.

Danielle

In the summer I bought a new bookcase thinking I would be able to put all my Viragos and Persephones on the shelves and maybe even be able to fit in my NYRB classics, but as it turned out I had so many Viragoes it filled the whole bookcase and now my Persephones are stacked on the side next to it. I occasionally go on these little ordering binges where I try and add to my collection--will pretty much buy any Virago I don't already own and I look for them any time I am in a used bookstore, though I don't often find many of them locally. I read about the breaking up of these sorts of neighborhoods after the war--that's discussed in the first book (have yet to read the other two) of Call the Midwife. I can't imagine not having indoor plumbing and worse having to share with all your neighbors. I am well and truly spoiled and in this case I think I don't mind! :)

Danielle

She was there and you can tell from her writing! I am do glad I picked this up--a good first choice of books and hopefully the year will be filled with more of them. She really makes you feel like you were there and I love books like that, too. Thank goodness that people do write about things like this or it would all be lost over time!

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