Original date of publication:
My copy: 1978 (Ace books)
Why I decided to read:
How I acquired my copy: Amazon.com, November 2010
DE Stevenson’s books are quite hard to find, but I was able to buy a copy of Celia’s House a few years ago. The novel takes place over the course of about 40 years and focuses on the lives and fortune of the Dunne family and their family estate, Dinnian, in Scotland. Humphrey Dunne inherits the estate in 1905 from Celia Dunne, with the stipulation that Dunnian will be passed to Humphrey’s daughter, Celia, when she comes of age.
Some of the plot is a little predictable; for example, when the elder Celia states that Dunnian be passed on to the younger Celia, the younger Celia hasn’t even been born yet—so it’s pretty obvious that there will indeed be another Celia to carry on the family name. Because the book takes place over a larger period of time, there were also large gaps between events; for example, Stevenson doesn’t really describe what happens when Celia receives her inheritance or her reaction to it. In fact, the book isn’t so much about Celia as it is about the family in general.
Nonetheless, there are a few strong points to the book, including the romance—Steven describes perfectly the agony (and ecstasy) of young love. Still, I didn’t think this book was quite as strong as some of the other DE Stevenson novels I’ve read.