The New House PDF/EPUB ß The New Epub /

The New House PDF/EPUB ß The New Epub /

The New House ☂ [PDF / Epub] ☁ The New House By Lettice Cooper ✐ – 'All that outwardly happens in The New House' writes Jilly Cooper 'is over one long day a family moves from a large imposing secluded house with beautiful gardens to a small one overlooking a housing 'All that outwardly happens in The New House' writes Jilly Cooper 'is over one long day a family moves from a large imposing secluded house with beautiful gardens to a small one overlooking a housing estate But all the characters and their relationships with each other are so lovingly portrayed that one cares passionately what happens even to the unpleasant ones 'The New House The New Epub / first published in reminds me of my favourite author Chekhov who so influenced Lettice's generation of writers Like him she had perfect social pitch and could draw an arriviste developer as convincingly as a steely Southern social butterfly''It is tempting to describe Rhoda Powell the plus stay at home daughter of a widowed mother as Brookneresue' wrote the reviewer in the Guardian 'even though Lettice Cooper wrote this wonderfully understated novel several decades before Anita Brookner mapped the defining features of uietly unhappy middle class women' While Kate Chisholm in The Spectator described Lettice Cooper as 'an intensely domestic novelist unraveling in minute detail the tight web of family relations' but one who is also 'acutely aware of what goes on beyond the garden gate The exposé of a family under strain because of changing times is curiously vivid and real than in many novels about family life written today'.

10 thoughts on “The New House

  1. Paul Paul says:

    45 stars rounded upSplit into three sections; morning afternoon and evening this is a novel set in one day The premise is very simple; it concerns a family moving house from a large imposing house with gardens not uite a stately home but uite big to something much smaller overlooking a housing estate It is an enforced move as the old house is too large and expensive to be managed Lettice Cooper lived a long life which might seem unremarkable to some As well as being a writer and penning a number of novels she wrote reviews for a local newspaper worked for the ministry of food for the Second World War founded the Writers Action Group wrote a ground breaking novel about PTSD and spent a lifetime fighting for libraries and Public Lending Rights Her novels examine class with Cooper coming from a leftist perspective and she even wrote a novel about the Miners Strikes of the 1970s This novel was written in 1936 and reflects the changes in the English middle classes after the First World War The family involved is the Powell family; Mr Powell has recently died and Mrs Powell can no longer manage the house; although she does not really accept this Her daughter Rhoda lives at home and is in her 30s Her brother Maurice lives nearby with his wife Evelyn and their daughter The final sibling Delia lives and works in London and is engaged to be married to Jim All the family are rallying round to assist with the removals including Mrs Powell’s sister Ellen As you may have gathered there is not a great deal of action pretty much none in fact and the pace is slow We see the situation from the perspective of all the different members of the family noting their different feelings and their particular tensions We see Mrs Powell resentful that she has to move selfish and used to getting her own way Rhoda is dutiful and caring knowing she is expected to care for her mother but also longing to break free We see the tensions between Maurice and Evelyn who have different aspirations; Evelyn feeling the importance of moving up the social ladder and becoming wealthier whilst Maurice has vague egalitarian leanings which as he is a capitalist owning a small part of the means of production he will do nothing about Delia is a freer spirit and gets frustrated with them all and wants Rhoda to break free Cooper is a skilful writer and there is some perceptive analysis here Rhoda ponders her feelings on moving“Today she thought is like a crack in my life Things are coming up through the crack and if I don't look at them perhaps I shall never see them again Ordinary life in the new house will begin tomorrow and grow over the crack and seal it up”And it is Rhoda who seems to get the most time as she struggles with her role and her relationship with her mother“'If thought Rhoda you could just for a single minute get inside another person and look at yourself and everyone from them what a difference it would make to all the rest of your life”Mrs Powell and her daughter in law Evelyn both worry about seeing and meeting the poorer classes from the housing estate Cooper draws clear parallels between the oppression of the working classes in housing estates and slums and the situation of women like Rhoda Cooper is able to make the reader understand the motivations and feelings of all the characters even the unlikeable ones and there are a number of those and this is one of the strengths of the book It is a vignette of family life a character study and a picture of a social change which took place between the wars For those who like thoughtful and considered novels

  2. Ali Ali says:

    The New House takes place over one very long day that sees the “removal” of Natalie Powell and her adult daughter Rhoda from their large family home to a much smaller house on the other side of the town The old house is to be demolished to make way for newer modest housing for working class families Rhoda’s sister Delia has arrived from London to help and with her she brings the wind of change The social order is a central theme to this wonderful novel Natalie Powell has been a spoiled and petted woman her whole life given to childlike rages when she doesn’t get her own way she generally did and she has become a selfish woman Natalie and her sister Ellen – who also comes to help on moving day are still living in their shared past they were brought up in a certain way the duties that they believed were due to their parents they believe are due to Natalie Natalie still recovering from her husband’s death relies on Rhoda to help run the home Rhoda in her early thirties has become trapped Aunt Ellen the dutiful sister and daughter who never married and now lives in a kind of hotel for ladies like herself is delighted to be back helping and organising and busy and in her Rhoda recognises the woman she too could so easily become if she doesn’t break free Delia planning soon to marry her fiancé Jim is eager to help Rhoda get away and suggests she takes her job in London when she leaves to get married in a few months Rhoda is shaken by the suggestion but keeps thinking about it throughout the day “Today she thought is like a crack in my life Things are coming up through the crack and if I don’t look at them perhaps I shall never see them again Ordinary life in the new house will begin tomorrow and grow over the crack and seal it up”Maurice the son of the family is also now living away from home he is married to the fairly dreadful Evelyn a young women not dissimilar to her mother in law Although Evelyn is uncomfortable with Maurice’s family and is uite disliked by Maurice’s two sisters She is concerned with lovely things clothes and her social position than with her husband and his family “Evelyn got off her bus in the centre of the town strolled along looking at the shop windows and finally turned in at the big doors of Varleys It was like coming back into her familiar world The warm air scented with cosmetics lapped her round The bright lights shone on counters of expensive oddments fantastic gloves fragile stockings handkerchiefs like bright flowers handsome heavy bags There were a lot of well dressed people about shopping or looking The women behind the counters served them with skill and deference Once you got inside those big doors you were in a world which provided that you had money to spend existed for your convenience” Maurice although adoring of his little girl Tattie is unhappy and dissatisfied with his life The upheaval of the move from the family home throws everything up in to the air – releasing feelings in the members of the Powell family they are hardly aware of He is still attached to the large family home that he moved out of five years earlier – and seeing his mother and sister leaving it is painful for him forcing him along with other members of his family to take stock and look at his life The New House was first published in 1936 and re issued by Persephone books in 2003 with a wonderful preface written by Jilly Cooper the wife of Lettice Cooper’s nephew Leo Cooper It is that wonderful thing a beautiful uiet novel where nothing much happens but through it you see the whole of the society which existed at the time it was written I loved it and as I had a busy couple of days with family I was forced to read it slowly than I might have done otherwise

  3. Jane Jane says:

    The trouble with human beings was that they wanted things to last So often not what they saw or did today but what they had seen or done yesterday was the preoccupation of their lives They wanted childhood to go on passion to endure youth to remain This wonderful book is a marvel of fine writing and fair characterizations of the people that inhabit it When you feel that a certain character is negatively portrayed she surprises the reader with a transcendent moment where we get glimpses of hisher better self I think the author is determined to be fair to her characters Having said that I do feel that one character was her great favorite and served as the model for how modern women should think I found that annoying but I still must award it five stars

  4. Michael Michael says:

    I absolutely loved this One of my favorites that I’ve read in 2020 Even though it was written in 1936 it feels timeless The way Lettice Cooper weaves in and out of each character’s thoughts was seamless With one small paragraph Cooper gave such life to even the background characters like Cook and Ivy and these brief passages were actually some of the most touching moments of the book for meSo many uotes that I had to highlight and I’d like to share some of my favorites“You could not help feeling that the end of thirty years ought to be dramatic That was expecting life to be like a book or a play instead of the inconseuent business that it was with flat places in the middle of excitement and peaks of excitement in the middle of ordinary things”“Relationships are so easy when carefulness doesn’t get into them It’s like walking on a slippery road so long as you don’t think you’re all right When you think you stiffen and rhythm is broken”“Nothing she thought could be very interesting at Evelyn’s table because all the conversation was in her key Her view of things was sensible practical matter of fact one dimensional Everything looked to her thought Rhoda as a box looked to you when you were small and were told to draw it one suare front facing you no sides no top no light nor shade nor angle nothing behind it But why do we let her? Maurice and I are not very clever or successful people but we know that there is always than the front of the box Why is it so easy for the people who see less to override the people who see ?”“We think out what we ought to do and then feel as though we’d achieved something and don’t notice that we aren’t doing”

  5. Linda K Linda K says:

    Written in 1934 and set in those days this story revolves around a family who faces removal to a new home due to the death of the father and limited resources Its' 319 pages cleverly consists of three parts Morning Noon and NightWhat might be utterly boring becomes insightful gleanings from each family member as their thoughts and conversations meander between the present day and past ones We are given glimpses into the inner workings of their personalities and are either charmed by them or repelled I found myself agreeing with various thoughts and cheering on one of the characters to buck up and become of her own person I also saw myself in a negative tone with some of their thoughtsAlthough the times and customs are uite different now I would call this book ageless as it deals at heart with the constant human condition of relationships in families

  6. Rosemary Rosemary says:

    Widowed Natalie Powell and her 32 year old unmarried daughter Rhoda are having to leave the big old house where the family has lived for many years to move somewhere smaller and cheaper All the action of this book takes place in one day in their northern English town in the 1930s as they move helped by Natalie's son Maurice and his wife a second daughter Delia and her fiancé and Natalie's sister Aunt Ellen I loved this and thought it was wonderfully well written All the strains and jealousies in the different relationships are brought out in a masterful way The big uestion of the book is whether Rhoda will have the desire and courage to leave her domineering mother and go for the job in London which Delia is leaving to get married as women had to do in those days

  7. Amy Amy says:

    Stop everything you are doing and go read this book I mean it I really really mean itThis is the kind of novel that you don't want to end The kind that you are thrilled is long a rare rare thing for me because the world Ms Cooper invites you into is so real and so flawed and so very bittersweet She is kind to her characters warts and all and nobody is painted as 100% virtuous or a villain they are all nuanced You see yourself in them; you see the good the bad and the sheer humanity of it allA uiet beautiful read in the best tradition of domestic fiction If you read Barbara Pym or Dorothy Whipple do yourself a favor and read this book

  8. Lisa Brantly Lisa Brantly says:

    very nice i really enjoyed it reminded me of Dorothy Whipple

  9. Anna Anna says:

    After I read this book I contacted Persephone Books directly something I’ve not done before to ask if they are publishing anything of Lettice Cooper whose nearly every page here strikes some chord of understanding for me I actually caught myself nodding yes ridiculously to myself a number of times Happily in October they will publish National Provincial Can I just take a moment to thank Persephone books for finding mostly lesser known women writers and giving them an audience who frankly needs them or I’ll say for myself I need them Thank you

  10. Alison Peters Alison Peters says:

    Loved every character in this book wish I could know much about them There were so many uotable lines that would be perfectly applicable to today I love how even the selfish mother had a soft spot occasionally and some remorse looking back and that the unmarried daughter was able to be strong and look forward to moving on with her life A book to reread for sure

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