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A Wayside Tavern Paperback – Large Print, September 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 568 pages
  • Publisher: Isis Large Print; Lrg edition (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753183331
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753183335
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,884,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
81%
4 star
6%
3 star
13%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 16 customer reviews
It is one of the few books I actually want to reread.
Porcelain Monkey
This story is rich and intriguing - it is the story of a tavern over ages of use.
Cat Maclachlan
She is one person I really would have loved to have been able to meet.
Mystery Lover

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By S. E. Kennedy on July 5, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was my first venture into a Norah Lofts novel - what a terrific find! The book begins in the 4th century as the Roman army begins to pull out of England. Wounded and unable to continue with the troops, Paulus remains behind at the "deserted" wayside tavern they had stumbled across. One act of kindness begets another and soon Paulus has unknowingly started a family and a story of a family home to reach through the centuries. Ms. Lofts brilliantly and seamlessly weaves each generation of her story into the next, culminating with a single reminder back to the days of Paulus which I think wrapped the story beautifully back to it's beginning. Along the way, however, you will enjoy stories of historical interest, religion,love, loss, and the simple human characteristics that create great human drama. I thoroughly enjoyed each step along the way and I highly recommend this book.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kathylene Privitera on April 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
this is a great story of a wayside tavern in England, from Roman times until the present....Norah Lofts tells a story that keeps your interest from page one until the end...the way the histories of the people running the tavern merge and the history of England as time goes on, is fascinating!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lisa A. D. Tyler on March 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Next to Gad's Hall this is probably the one I re-read most often. The Wayside Tavern is the story of the One Bull Tavern, founded during the final roman occupation of England, the story of the rise and fall of St Cerdic, and the Gilderson family who own and run the tavern. Through the ages the inn and its family struggle to survive catastropic change against all odds. This is truly an epic story which will leave you with a real sense of the background of this area of England.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Thomas on August 8, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was my first Norah Lofts book.
I couldn't put it down, it was so easy to get into.
All the stories about the same tavern through the centuries are very well put together. I'm now on to my second book by her.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Porcelain Monkey on August 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
was reading about the Ken Follett book -"pillars of the earth" on an Amazon review- an co reader recommended this novel. it is a great story of a English Tavern from Roman times through the recent past- 1970's. the story line follows family members through generations. interesting characters, and surprisingly strong women are represented. It is one of the few books I actually want to reread.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cat Maclachlan on June 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's difficult to describe the talent of Norah Lofts - this book captured me with its time sequencing from post-Roman Britannia to the modern setting.

I can't figure out how she lived and breathed this book - and that can be said for all of her works. Lofts is a wonderful example of How Fiction Was; not the singular word sentences, redundant declaratives and unstructured nonsense that passes for best-sellers today.

This story is rich and intriguing - it is the story of a tavern over ages of use.
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Format: Hardcover
This "novel" is comprised of many short stories all of which revolve around One Bull, a wayside tavern. The time period covered by the novel extends from the fourth century--when the last of the Romans left Britain and it was being invaded by Jutes, Angles and Saxons--till the twentieth century. The book is divided into six sections, most of which are further divided into several chapters some of which follow each other without a time gap; others leave gaps of decades or centuries. The question I kept asking myself was: "Does this format work?"

I found it to be somewhat of a frustrating read. Just as I was getting into the characters of a story it would end. More than three dozen characters play important roles but only a few are given enough descriptive pages to be allowed to fully develop in the reader's mind. A couple dozen more characters play insignificant roles. Some chapters are good at picking up some of the threads and pieces from previous sections and chapters but others leave the reader with unanswered questions. I thought the book went adrift in the last thirty pages dated 1939 and 1975. New generations are introduced and it becomes a chore in the exchange of dialogue and narrative to keep track of who is related to whom and where and how each person has a place in the story. Does it matter at this stage? Just get it over with, please.

My verdict is that the format used by Lofts did not work out for the best. Her writing usually engages the reader with a good plot and memorable characters. A Wayside Tavern is like a sampler of what the author is capable of but from front to back it is too disjointed and distracting to be a substantive novel.
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By P. Newhart on March 19, 2013
Format: Paperback
A Wayside Tavern tells the story of the One Bull tavern, the church beside it, and the people that played a part in the history of both. The novel begins in 384 AD with a wounded Roman soldier seeking refuge, moving onto the arrival of the Christians and the miracles associated with St. Cerdic that occurred there, to modern times, with plenty of action in between as the buildings move through various incarnations and roles.

While the setting of the One Bull is the constant in the novel, it is the people that own it or frequent the area that bring the story to life. The tavern remains in the same family throughout its history, so it is interesting to see the stories passed down through time. The only drawback to a novel of this type is that the reader never becomes fully immersed in any one character's life before the scene changes and new characters are introduced. Overall, I found this an enjoyable read with some of the sections more interesting tha others, but definitely interested in reading more Norah Lofts. Recommended for history fans.
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