Saturday, 21 May 2011

May I recommend?


Thank-you Countrymummy over at projectforty (and on my sidebar) for kindly giving me this award. I googled it to see what I could find. It seems all I have to do is pass on the award and though I haven’t managed to find the origins of the Liebster Award, I’ve found a number of posts about it. They vary regarding numbers, and it does seem it is about those following numbers (and mine are small but, of course, perfectly lovely). So I may be supposed to tag 3 or 3-5 bloggers who have fewer than 100 followers, or fewer than 300, or a ‘small’ blog…
So I propose that you should check out I'm Crayon who is scribbling 'a completely pointless, nubby little blog' that always makes me smile; Fran at being me who has lots of followers and may not need an award but is one of my favourite ports of call (but has recently suggested she may give up blogging!) and has a wonderful take on the meaning of English; and thirdly why not visit wylye girl whose tales are marvelous.
I would add that they should none of them feel obliged to accept or pass on this award as I'm usually the break in the chain of chain e-mail that demands I pass it on to my friends, but I was far too chuffed (I'm trying not to think 'pathetic') at being given an award to fail in this instance!
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Were you gripped a few weeks ago by the serial that was South Riding but perhaps a little puzzled by character motivation? The girls and I loved it, but we did wonder why some things happened. Well, having just read Winifred Holtby’s eponymous book I’m staggered at just how much Andrew Davies managed to get into only three hour long episodes, and I’d thoroughly recommend getting in touch with the characters’ inner thoughts!
Written and set in the 1930s it is surprisingly modern. A fascinating study of character, it is also a good yarn: believable, with loose ends, rather than neatly tied in a happy ending format. There are further strands to those in the TV series, but even those you think you know are further explored and embroidered with a cast of characters that cover the spectrum of people you’d expect to find in a (fictional) rural area in Yorkshire. The machinations of the local council, the wheels within wheels of social life and the hardship of simply living through the 1930s are intricately observed. Themes like women’s place in society, health, housing, the welfare state and schooling are all touched upon, but always as part of the story and how they affect the people.
Short chapters with titles made it a page turner too: an all round good read.

7 comments:

Fran said...

Thank you for the award, hausfrau. I will come over and claim it soon. And I agree with you about that 'nubby little blog'. That woman is totally hilarious and I love her posts. Thanks for the reminder about South Riding - I knew there was a book I was meaning to get. And I have vouchers!!! yay!

hausfrau said...

So long as we keep you writing! Mother leant me the book - she couldn't wait for the library to provide and spent actual money.

Nancy Wallace said...

Just discovered your blog. I thought the TV adaptation of South Riding was excellent. I read the book many years ago and loved it - your blog post comments have reminded me to get hold of a copy again and re-read. I was probably too young to appreciate all its themes when I first read it.

I'm Crayon said...

Thanks so much for "awarding" me hausfrau! How fun! And thank you, too, Fran. The feeling's mutual! Hausfrau, you and I really have such similar taste. So many of my favorite blogs have come from your list!

diney said...

You've reminded me that I was given this award a while back and I still haven't done the business! We read South Riding for our book club and I agree with your overview. The ending was still a little as though she got fed up and just ended it abruptly, but the social comment is fantastic.

hausfrau said...

Nancy, welcome! It is interesting how your perspective on a novel changes with age isn't it? I remain unable to reread Anya Seton, with whom I was besotted as a teenager, in case she's not as good as I remember.
I'm Crayon, you're welcome. I love to see what you have to say - and am very aware that I've failed on the 'what you should do in London' notes. Perhaps you could let us know how long you will be visiting and whether London is your only destination or whether you'll go further afield?
Well, Diney, thank goodness I didn't duplicate the award: It was tough choosing! I think I'm right in saying South Riding was her only book and she may even have died before publication, which just might account for a 'rushed' ending.

I'm Crayon said...

We only get to be there for a week so we're just staying in London. We're in Grosvenor Square which seems somewhat centrally located? Trying to not "overplan" but there's so much to see! All my relatives are from Wales so I wish we had more time to go there, too. Guess that means we'll just have to plan another trip!