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Showing posts from November, 2021

My Month in Books: November 2021

This month I'm looking at two novels, one set in a very ordinary world about "a very ordinary" life, and the other in a fantasy world about far-from-ordinary people. Both Rosalind Murray's The Happy Tree and Naomi Novik's Uprooted weave their own kind of spell... The Happy Tree , Rosalind Murray (Persephone Books 2014, first published 1926) My first reaction to this novel was disappointment. It seemed like just another of those “golden summers before the First World War” books in which posh children have happy childhoods in a lovely big English house only to find sorrow, misery, grief, heart break etc etc when they grow up. All the ingredients of the idyll are there: the house, Yearsly, an eighteenth century mansion with tennis court, walled garden, rose garden, deer park, pavilion, and ponies. It is staffed by butler, cook, nurse, governess and gardeners, all long-serving and contented with their lot (“the servants never changed at Yearsly”). It is inhabit