Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Good daughters (Hocking) 340, its sequel Indifferent heroes (341) (and a mention of 352)

I have had Mary Hocking's Indifferent heroes on my VMC TBR for quite a while; I was keen to read it, having very much enjoyed her book A particular place (pre VMC blogging, so I will share the pictures of that cover at the end of this post too!). However, it was the second book in a trilogy, and I wanted to read them in order. I had not spotted it in a bookshop, I was pretty sure that I would enjoy it though, so, having had a run of not especially riveting VMCs, I bit the bullet and bought the first volume from Amazon marketplace (too bad that volume 3 is quite expensive in a Virago edition). It was definitely worth breaking my policy of trying to stick to only acquiring VMCs that I see in the shops as I really enjoyed it, and that has in turn reinvigorated my VMC reading which felt like I was stuck with only the ones that I didn't especially want to read left - I am quite sure that as I still have a good third of the list to work my way through there must be some other gems out there!

Good daughters tells the story of the Fairley sisters, Louise, Alice and Claire, who live in London with their methodist father Stanley and mother Judith. The book starts in 1933 and as time passes, obviously the family become affected by the changing historical situation, so the book is interesting from that point of view. But what I liked was the way that it depicted three interesting young women and their lives, and particularly the constraints imposed on them by their religious upbringings. It was somewhat reminiscent of Noel Streatfeild's Vicarage Family.

In Indifferent Heroes, the story carries on. The Second World War has arrived, dramatically changing the girls lives. I thought this was an excellent read as the level of historical detail and interest was spot on, and the different strands of story worked incredibly well.

Having read the first two volumes in quick succession I couldn't resist ordering the third, Welcome Strangers, and I hope that it turns up soon.

Onto the covers - the trilogy was published in the italicised green format, whilst A Particular Place has one of the original green editions.


  1. Would they make sense read out of order? I've got book 2 as well, and haven't got either of the others.

    Glad you're back in the groove!

  2. Thank you for reminding me about these. Mine have disappeared towards the back of my green shelves and I really must pull them out. After all, Hocking is a good Cornish name!

  3. JRSM - I think they would, but it is nice to read them in order. I think that the second volume was actually rather better written to the first and more historical!

    Jane - ooh, these are definitely worth pulling out :)

  4. I really like the sound of these, Verity! I like a good family saga. I shall look out for them, as I hadn't heard of Mary Hocking before.