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Vittoria Cottage (1949)

af D. E. Stevenson

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
2018135,643 (3.8)25
Caroline Dering, a widow with three grown children, lives a cheerful, quiet life near the idyllic English village of Ashbridge. But, things are about to liven up, as daughter Leda announces a problematic engagement to the son of the local squire, son James returns from service and pursues romance with the squire's independent daughter, and sister Harriet, a famous actress who latest play has bombed, retreats to Ashbridge for a break. Then there's Robert Shepperton, a charming widower recovering from the losses of war at the local inn... These problems, as well as smaller challenges with an overbearing village organizer, the blustering Sir Michael, and Caroline's daily help ("who rejoices in the name of Comfort Podbury"), are resolved with all of D.E. Stevenson's flair for gentle humour, clever plotting, and characters who walk right off the page.… (mere)
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Viser 1-5 af 8 (næste | vis alle)
This is the kind of book that to me best exemplifies D.E. Stevenson's talent. A quiet domestic novel.
Caroline is a widow with two daughters and one son. They live in a cozy house in a small village. Caroline is a type of character that D.E. Stevenson does particularly well--one that somehow manages to be both naive and intelligent at the same time.
One day while she's out picking berries she meets Robert Shepperton, a fairly new lodger in town. No one really knows his history. He and Caroline hit it off pretty well and he enjoys stopping by the cottage often.

Besides their burgeoning friendship, the book also focuses on Caroline's children. One daughter is spoiled and demanding, and one daughter is clever and self-sufficient. But her son James is the only one of her offspring that's really after her own heart. He arrives home from a war midway through the book and it's easy to see why his mother holds him specially dear. (He, along with his eventual wife and some other relatives, also appear in Music in the Hills, Shoulder the Sky, and Bel Lamington.)
Caroline's younger sister Harriet, who is a famous actress, arrives for a prolonged visit and introduces some variety into their lives and a little bit of complication.
The book has a nice, fitting ending.
The only reason I don't give it (and some of D.E. Stevenson's other books) a higher rating is that, to be frank, there's a lack of excitement or plot climax. But when one wants a relaxing book with some good solid prose and almost all likeable characters, she is definitely an author to have at hand. ( )
  Alishadt | Feb 25, 2023 |
Caroline Dering, a middle-aged widow, lives at Vittoria Cottage. Nothing too dramatic happens. There are some dinner parties and some incidents involving neighbours. The Derings befriend a newcomer to the neighbourhood, Robert Shepperton. Caroline’s eldest daughter gets engaged and no one is very happy about it; Caroline and her sister (the actress Harriet Fane) visit each other; her son James returns home after three years in the army. And so on.

But this is a fascinating insight into postwar life in England, with rationing and rules about what one must do with eggs if one keeps more than a certain number of hens. And I like that Stevenson considers the concerns of a middle-aged widow worthy of this sort of attention -- and of this sort of romance.

She saw beauty in ordinary little things and took pleasure in it (and this was just as well because she had had very little pleasure in her life). She took pleasure in a well-made cake, a smoothly ironed napkin, a pretty blouse, laundered and pressed; she liked to see the garden well dug, the rich soil brown and gravid; she loved her flowers. When you are young you are too busy with yourself -- so Caroline thought -- you haven't time for ordinary little things but, when you leave youth behind, your eyes open and you see magic and mystery all around you: magic in the flight of a bird, the shape of a leaf, the bold arch of a bridge against the sky, footsteps at night and a voice calling in the darkness, the moment in a theatre before the curtain rises, the wind in the trees, or (in winter) an apple-branch clothed with pure white snow and icicles hanging from from a stone and sparkling with rainbow colours.

(I’m not sure how I feel about Stevenson’s portrayal of Caroline’s “daily help”, Comfort Podbury. Caroline obviously values Comfort’s friendship as well as her work -- Caroline has a lot of affection, sympathy and respect for Comfort, and so, it seems, does the author. But Stevenson is also very unflattering about Comfort’s obesity. Does that undermine the sympathy?) ( )
  Herenya | Jun 13, 2021 |
The first in the 3 book series about people related to the Johnstones of Mureth. ( )
  mirihawk | May 21, 2020 |
(Fiction, Vintage, Romance)

The work of D.E. Stevenson was recommended to me by our head librarian on one of my brief visits to our beautiful relatively new village library. We found on the shelf Vittoria Cottage, published in 1949 and the first of a trilogy.

I did enjoy the mid-twentieth century English village setting, but the plot was a little too much of a romance for me to be crazy about this book. 3 stars ( )
  ParadisePorch | Nov 1, 2016 |
Appallingly patronising towards the lower classes. One of the characters actually thought of a village woman as a peasant. Dated, even for 1949. ( )
  pamelad | Mar 23, 2016 |
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Caroline Dering, a widow with three grown children, lives a cheerful, quiet life near the idyllic English village of Ashbridge. But, things are about to liven up, as daughter Leda announces a problematic engagement to the son of the local squire, son James returns from service and pursues romance with the squire's independent daughter, and sister Harriet, a famous actress who latest play has bombed, retreats to Ashbridge for a break. Then there's Robert Shepperton, a charming widower recovering from the losses of war at the local inn... These problems, as well as smaller challenges with an overbearing village organizer, the blustering Sir Michael, and Caroline's daily help ("who rejoices in the name of Comfort Podbury"), are resolved with all of D.E. Stevenson's flair for gentle humour, clever plotting, and characters who walk right off the page.

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