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Review: Ordinary Families, by E. Arnot Robertson


Pages: 331
Original date of publication: 1933
My edition: 1986 (Virago)
Why I decided to read: It’s on the list of VMCs
How I acquired my copy: Charing Cross Road bookshop, London, September 2011


Ordinary Families is the story of an English family living in the small village of Pin Mill. Lallie is one of four children to a former adventurer, and they spend their days boating and hunting in Suffolk.

This is one of those classic coming of age stories in which one girl struggles to figure out her place in a large family, overshadowed as she is by her beautiful older sister. I liked Robertson’s descriptions of the family, especially Lallie and her father, but I also thought her descriptions of the family’s boating excursions were a bit, er, overboard at times. Robertson is good at character development and exploring the relationships between the various family members. It’s also very frank, for the 1930s, about various aspects of growing up. Because the plot moves along at a very slow pace, it’s very hard to follow at times.

Comments

Unknown said…
I also found the plot was so slow that it was impossible to remain focussed to read the whole book...

Chris
www.ChristopherMeades.com
Aarti said…
Oh, sad that this one moves so slowly. Also, I tend to dislike books that take place on boats for extended periods of time, so...

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January
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3. Texts From Jane Eyre, by Mallory Ortberg
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5. Brat Farrar, by Josephine Tey
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8. A Movable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway
9. A Room of One's Own, by Virginia Woolf
10. Other Voices, Other Rooms, by Truman Capote
11. Maggie-Now, by Betty Smith

February
1. Middlemarch, by George Eliot
2. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
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4. Music For Chameleons, by Truman Capote
5. Peyton Place, by Grace Metalious
6. Unrequited, by Lisa Phillips
7. Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
8. A Lost Lady, by Willa Cather

March
1. Persuasion, by Jane Austen
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