Review 2021: A House in the Country

All during the war, Ruth, her husband, four friends, and the Adam children have been stuffed into an uncomfortable house in London, suffering privations of every sort. As early as 1941, they all began dreaming of taking a house in the country together, where they could have space, good food, and plenty of fresh air for the children. At the end of the war, Ruth finds an ad for a large house in Kent, 33 rooms. They go to see it and fall in love.

They figure that with their combined incomes, they can barely afford it. Ruth will do the housekeeping. The house comes with Howard, a handyman/gardener who has lived there most of his life and whose assistance proves invaluable.

Adam lets us know right away that this plan doesn’t work, but the descriptions of the beauties of the landscape and garden sometimes made me forget this. Written with a deadpan humor, the autobiographical novel tracks the ups and downs of this experience, through employment issues, attempts at agriculture, paying guests, house sharing. But as Adam repeatedly states, the house was built to be served, not to serve.

The story of the hapless occupants is funny and touching. I found it fascinating.

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11 thoughts on “Review 2021: A House in the Country

  1. Jane September 2, 2022 / 9:47 am

    This does sound a lovely read, I’ve only just discovered DSP and they all look gorgeous!

    • whatmeread September 2, 2022 / 2:12 pm

      So far, I have enjoyed every one I’ve read.

  2. Liz Dexter September 4, 2022 / 12:42 pm

    I loved this one – I do love a moving to a big house / commune / farm book. It was quite moving, and doomed, though wasn’t it.

    • whatmeread September 4, 2022 / 7:46 pm

      Doomed may be overstating it.

      • Liz Dexter September 5, 2022 / 12:16 am

        Didn’t it all go horribly wrong? But it felt more precious and temporary because of the hints it was gong to fail.

      • whatmeread September 5, 2022 / 11:39 am

        Well, yes, but it wasn’t as dramatic as that.

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