At the end of the Second World War, Matthew Wallingham returns home, blinded and uncertain about his future. Worse yet, his father is ill, and his mother is obviously unhappy, while his younger brother, who has made a success of running the farm on the family’s estate in the war years, is resentful of Matthew’s desire to help him. The only person Matthew feels he can talk to is his grandmother, but the rest of the family regards her as a holy terror.
Matthew soon realises that his future plans are not going to work, and he starts to look for a new career. He finds himself depending more and more on Liz, his nurse who becomes the focus of all his thoughts and his hopes for a future. But Liz has a shadow hanging over her, a shadow that will bring a terrifying violence into the Wallingham family’s life.
©1999 The Trustees of the Catherine Cookson Charitable Trusts; (P)2000 Chivers Audio Books
Pure Catherine Cookson! The author paints her characters with a clear and compassionate style. She creates them so well that you care deeply about some of them, abhore the behavior of others and, when you know you are coming to the conclusion of the story - makes you wish the book would never end!
wonderful love story set right after the 2nd World War. Truly British, giving us an insight of the onset of the disappearance of the old class system at the time. There is plenty of action that kept me at the edge of my seat. I hope Audible will publish many more of Catherine Cookson's books in audible form beyond the few available now, for me each one is a treat.
"Not one of her finest"
I know that Catherine Cookson has fallen out of favour in recent years after her long unchallenged reign as the bestselling British author, but I find myself returning to her novels every once in a while, like a comfort blanket in book form. There is nothing particularly challenging about her stories and they tend to follow a fairly predictable path, but they are eminently readable and Cookson's ability to write flawed, believable, likeable characters is second to none.
Having said this, I probably would not return to A House Divided that soon. Compared to novels such as The Glass Virgin or A Dinner of Herbs, which I find I can read multiple times, A House Divided lacked the spark that engages the reader and by the end I was getting a little bored. The main issue is that there is never any real obstacle to the main characters' love story - everybody loves Matthew despite his blindness, everybody loves Liz despite her lower class, Liz and Matthew love each other, the horrible ex-fiancé is dispatched quickly etc. There are none of the usual Cookson twists or self-realisations that make her novels so entertaining.
I believe that Cookson wrote this not long before her death and I think it shows - she tends to repeat herself a bit too often and the novel is overlong - it could have done with a good edit to be honest, and this might have overcome some of its shortcomings.
Having said this, it is still an entertaining story of its type and I don't regret my purchase. I wish Audible would offer a wider range of her other novels now - groundbreaking they are not, but when you need to immerse yourself into a comfortable rags to riches love story, her tales can't be beaten!
"Very enjoyable. read very well."
I could not wait to hear the next chapter. I had read the book many years ago. But it is very relaxing to have it read to me.
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