Book Reviews

Town House (Suffolk House Trilogy 1) by Norah Lofts

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List Price: £7.99


Paperback: 352 Pages.

Published: 02 January 2009 by The History Press

Edition: UK ed.

ISBN: 0752448692

EAN: 9780752448695

"The Town House" is the first in a trilogy of novels by Norah Lofts about the inhabitants of a country house in Suffolk from the late fourteenth century to the middle of the twentieth. It begins with the story of Martin Reed, a serf existing under the control of a universally accepted and supported hierarchy. His rebellion, in defence of the woman he loves, casts both of them into the unknown. Freed from his acceptance of circumstance, Reed forges a new path, a path which culminates in the building of the House, and the foundations of a dynasty.


3.0 Stars3.0 Stars3.0 Stars  by Debra Found

Interesting and Tedious

This is the first in a trilogy of books concerning a family living at the Old Vine House. This book is set in the fourteenth century and follows the story of Martin Reed and his founding of a dynasty. We follow Martin from boyhood (although he wasn't called Martin then), through two marriages, a successful business, his children and grandchildren.

This was a book which was exceptionally interesting in some places and quite tedious in others. I very much enjoyed the social history side of this book; the way that people lived and the intricate structure of society. This is not a period of history which I know very much about so this particularly appealed to me. There were some sections of the book however which were purely social history and very little story so that there were points where I wondered where the author was going with the story. Occasionally there was too much detail about daily life and some repetition which did make me start to loose interest.

Having said that, however, I never did give up on the book & there was always an improvement in the story which made continuing worthwhile.

This isn't a particularly cheery book. Mind you, I don't think it was a particularly cheery period of history in which to live! Nothing much ever seems to go right for Martin Reed and his family. It would have been nice if something good had happened to him at some point rather than everything coming crashing down just as they were starting to look up. This happened time and again and I really did start to feel rather sorry for him.

My overall feeling was that I had enjoyed the book. It could have done with some editing and a shorter book with a few moments of light relief would have been more palatable. I shall look out for the next book in the series and see what happens to the family during throughout the Tudor period, the civil war and onto the reign of Charles II.

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