Tuesday, 6 April 2010

The house in Clewe Street (Lavin) 266

I enjoyed Mary Lavin's Mary O'Grady earlier in the year, so was pleased to have the chance to read The house in Clewe Street which is similar in some ways. It's a family saga telling the story of three generations of the Coniffes who live in the tiny Irish village of Castlerampart.

We meet Theodor, a landlord, father to Therese, Sara, and Lily. His wife and their mother died giving birth to Lily, who was born 15 years after Sara; Lily was brought up mainly by Therese and Sara, much to their resentment. Lily marries while the other two remain spinsters but her husband Cornelius is tragically killed in an accident shortly before Lily discovers that she is pregannt. Her son Gabriel is the third generation. It's a gentle read, but still gripping - I was keen to see how the stories of the family members panned out.

It's just been published once by Virago, with this green cover. Unfortunately the copy I had from the library was a hardback published by Cedric Chivers, but since I work at the Bodleian which has most books published in England, I was able to at least have a look at the original green one! 3*.

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