CARAGE FAMILY by Noel Streatfeild


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An autobiographical novel which this reader feels would have even greater charm had it been done as straight autobiography. There are sharp limitations of understanding imposed by the use of the third person, although Victoria (actually Noel herself) emerges as a fully realized middle daughter growing up a rebel in a vicarage family. This tells the story of the years in first one parish, then another, until Vicky realizes she has grown up- inside as well as out- when her adored cousin John comes home on leave at the start of World War I. And an extraordinary story it is, for the vicarage family was not like other families; quite definitely very, very British-Empirish, and almost as definitely a throwback to the 19th century in quality of thinking and being, even in frame of reference. A way of life -- poverty struggling to maintain standards instilled in a prosperous upperclass youth, a saintly father and a mother who had her own kind of rebellion, and the agonies of adolescence -- this is vividly drawn in unforgettable detail. Realism sparked with humor, a sort of Little Women quality translated into an English vicarage, it all adds up to a book with singular warmth and understanding, which will touch many readers. It is sure to shift audience from adults with a nostalgic appreciation, to sensitive adolescents who will see themselves in Vicky.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1963
Publisher: Franklin Watts