The house was Merravay. And its story stretched over 400 years.
©1954 Norah Lofts; (P)2007 Soundings
I have loved this book from the time I first read it a years ago. It has everything in it - unrequited love, hauntings, mysteries, and at last the fulfillment of everybody's wishes. Set in England, filled with unforgettable characters, events, history, and the sheer humanity of people living age by age under the same roof. Finding this book again was what made me join Audible in the first place, and i'm listening to it again, slowly and luxeriously, enjoying the audio book version as much as I enjoyed the paper book, which I eventually wore out. Take this story at face value, and let yourself follow each person, just be a part of their lives. After a time, you may start to feel, as I did, that the window seat belongs to you and no other.
With all due respect to two of the previous reviewers of Bless This House, if you don't like a Norah Lofts story you don't know what a good story is. If you like historical fiction and would like to time travel you can't beat Ms. Lofts stories. I highly recommend any of her books.
Everything. The rich historical detail, complex characters. The unpredictability of the plot. A good old-fashioned read.
When you realize that events from the first part of the story, in the 1400s, are coming back to have repercussions centuries later--and that you the reader know what's going on while the characters don't.
I think the readers who don't enjoy this book are probably young or accustomed to "new" books. Norah Lofts is the type of read that I miss--getting into the heads of many, many characters rather than only one main first-person character. Lush prose. A narrative story instead of sparse action and dialogue.
Somehow the title led me to think that it would be full of blessings. It is mostly a saga of frustration, missed opportunities and bitterness, generation after generation. The blessings take hundreds of years to arrive.
"Old favourite stands the test of time"
first read this in the early 1960s and have re-read it periodically since then, though not for 10 years or so, so I was very encouraged to see Norah Lofts' work on audio. Her books don't appear in the local library and I haven't seen them offered in either chain or local bookshops. 'Bless this House' is typical of much of Norah Lofts 'historical'fiction - taking you on a journey through the lifetime of a particular house and the people who inhabit it. It was an engrossing listen with vivid characters brought to life by the narration and provided the backdrop and sense of atmosphere for the times each character lived through and the social mores and economic circumstances, which constrained their behaviour. I could see the house itself, 'Merravay', in my mind and felt for its gradual deterioration and its need to be loved and cherished by owners who appreciated it. A good introduction to listeners not familiar with Norah Lofts historical fiction. I am hoping an audio version of the' House at Old Vine' will be made at some time in the near future.
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