The Town House (House Trilogy) Paperback – February 1, 2009
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Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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I searched while we lived for 5 years in the UK in their many book stores (old and new) but without success... 30 years after I read the book we lived in the Cotswolds and I had remembered the referencing "Cotswold Sheep" (only once) in the book... this is how much of an impression this book made on me in High School....it holds a place near and dear in my heart...
I enjoyed the story very much and was excited to find it was part of a trilogy and I bought the other books....
Historical details of how people lived in the times of Mary Tudor, through Elizabeth and the Civil War, right up to the Restoration, are accurately given and explained through the eyes of ordinary people who come and go through the House. Everyone has a tale to tell and we learn the story of the house through the effect events have on various lives. Norah Lofts was one of my favourite authors when I was a teenager in the 60s. I am sure I must have read this trilogy then but I remembered almost nothing and I am enjoying it afresh with different eyes today.
Top international reviews
This book roughly covers from the late 14th century to the 1440s, (the second two in the trilogy cover a couple of hundred years apiece),and each page brings vivid imagery of the late Medieval era to life. Lofts shows a deep understanding of life and all the diverse (and sometimes irrational) things which motivate people to act the way they do. She shows an era which was colourful, but intensely hard for most who lived it, and she never makes the fatal flaw of trying to put a modern-day slant on the way her characters think and behave. Lofts is a writer much-loved by her fans, and when you read the House trilogy you will see why.
Great plotting, a light touch with the historical facts, and engaging characters throughout. Definitely worth a read if you're a fan of historical fiction.
The book follows the life of Martin Reed from a teenager first through his own eyes; then as he gets older, through the eyes of someone close to him; finally reaching the days after his death. Through circumstance and heart ache and hard work, Martin achieves the impossible of any serf (slave to the Lord of the Manor into which he was born). The end of this first book was almost predictable. I say almost because in the last few pages it took a turn and I am so excited to see what happens in the next book.
I love how it deals with ordinary people over the course of hundreds of years, from great nobles to beggars in squalor.