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Memory In A House

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Lucy Boston, whose outstanding Green Knowe stories for young readers are rated among today's classics, has set down in this book and impressive record of the restoration of her Norman manor at Hemingford Grey - which is Green Knowe - and has conveyed a sense of the magic the house holds for her. The lyrical memoir begins in 1939, with Mrs. Boston's purchase of the house (by Lucy Boston, whose outstanding Green Knowe stories for young readers are rated among today's classics, has set down in this book and impressive record of the restoration of her Norman manor at Hemingford Grey - which is Green Knowe - and has conveyed a sense of the magic the house holds for her. The lyrical memoir begins in 1939, with Mrs. Boston's purchase of the house (by a kind of inspired accident). Her fascinating account of the architectural reclamation of what seemed at the time "a ramshackle madness from top to bottom, dark, dispiriting, crazy," is laced with her growing passion for the house - a passion which became the inspiration for a new career of writing and a vital element in her life.


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Lucy Boston, whose outstanding Green Knowe stories for young readers are rated among today's classics, has set down in this book and impressive record of the restoration of her Norman manor at Hemingford Grey - which is Green Knowe - and has conveyed a sense of the magic the house holds for her. The lyrical memoir begins in 1939, with Mrs. Boston's purchase of the house (by Lucy Boston, whose outstanding Green Knowe stories for young readers are rated among today's classics, has set down in this book and impressive record of the restoration of her Norman manor at Hemingford Grey - which is Green Knowe - and has conveyed a sense of the magic the house holds for her. The lyrical memoir begins in 1939, with Mrs. Boston's purchase of the house (by a kind of inspired accident). Her fascinating account of the architectural reclamation of what seemed at the time "a ramshackle madness from top to bottom, dark, dispiriting, crazy," is laced with her growing passion for the house - a passion which became the inspiration for a new career of writing and a vital element in her life.

45 review for Memory In A House

  1. 4 out of 5

    Melody

    Another interesting second chapter-type memoir, this from the author of the Green Knowe series. I strongly suspect that Lucy Boston was a truly dotty woman, and quite possibly as bristly and unapproachable as a porcupine. She certainly was a decisive character. I was a little worried since she made some comment in her first memoir about her unsuccessful marriage that there would be bitterness here about it. But she merely alluded to it as something in the past, and told more about her fascinatin Another interesting second chapter-type memoir, this from the author of the Green Knowe series. I strongly suspect that Lucy Boston was a truly dotty woman, and quite possibly as bristly and unapproachable as a porcupine. She certainly was a decisive character. I was a little worried since she made some comment in her first memoir about her unsuccessful marriage that there would be bitterness here about it. But she merely alluded to it as something in the past, and told more about her fascinating house. I missed hearing more about her lively family, and how their lives turned out. It was an odd book, rather unsettling for all its craft.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sian

    I was pleased to find this in the library (though it's actually a combination of her first volume of autobiography "Perverse and Foolish" and "Memory in a House") as I've wanted to read this for a long time because I love the Green Knowe books so much. Sadly it was a bit disappointing and quite hard work to get through :( there's very little structure here other than chronology, it's almost just a book of anecdotes and recollections. It really feels like the author is keeping the reader at arms l I was pleased to find this in the library (though it's actually a combination of her first volume of autobiography "Perverse and Foolish" and "Memory in a House") as I've wanted to read this for a long time because I love the Green Knowe books so much. Sadly it was a bit disappointing and quite hard work to get through :( there's very little structure here other than chronology, it's almost just a book of anecdotes and recollections. It really feels like the author is keeping the reader at arms length with almost no personal details or revealing of feelings, especially around her relationships with her family, husband or son. Instead pages are devoted to character sketches of people we'll never meet again, while the death of her brother in WW2 gets only a sentence. The first two chapters were particularly hard, but reading about Lucy's experiences in WW1 as a nurse were interesting, then it's not long until she buys the house that was the inspiration for Green Knowe. Even here it seems to have been a struggle for her to put her obvious feeling for the place into words and there are only brief mentions of her inspirations for the various books. But you do get a sense of the house from her writing, particularly when she mentions ghostly goings on. I really liked the mention of the ghostly attendee at her concerts that she assumed to be an airman lost in battle, longing to return. There's also a strong sense of her identification with the natural world and landscape and her mourning at (what seemed to her) it's passing, I particularly liked "only the full moon at midnight gave back to the river it's old dignity, it's worshipfulness." You really do get a sense of her as a fiercely independent and strong willed character - and she really didn't like librarians very much!

  3. 5 out of 5

    CLM

    Mrs. Boston's memoir of the house that inspired Green Knowe, the Manor, Hemingford Grey, which she bought just before WWII. The book describes its restoration and how it inspired her writing career. Mrs. Boston's memoir of the house that inspired Green Knowe, the Manor, Hemingford Grey, which she bought just before WWII. The book describes its restoration and how it inspired her writing career.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Annie

  5. 4 out of 5

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  6. 5 out of 5

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  7. 5 out of 5

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  8. 5 out of 5

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  9. 4 out of 5

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  10. 4 out of 5

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  11. 5 out of 5

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  13. 4 out of 5

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  14. 5 out of 5

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  16. 5 out of 5

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  17. 4 out of 5

    Jane Routley

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  20. 5 out of 5

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  21. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda

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    L Harrelson

  24. 4 out of 5

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  25. 4 out of 5

    CL

  26. 4 out of 5

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    Maureen Davis

  28. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

  29. 5 out of 5

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  30. 4 out of 5

    Dante

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    Bethany

  32. 5 out of 5

    Sparrow

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    Manybooks

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    Kim

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  36. 4 out of 5

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  37. 5 out of 5

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  38. 4 out of 5

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  39. 5 out of 5

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  40. 4 out of 5

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  41. 5 out of 5

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  42. 5 out of 5

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  43. 4 out of 5

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  44. 5 out of 5

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  45. 4 out of 5

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