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The Village

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  151 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
'If anyone asked me to describe life in post-war Britain, ' commented Sarah Crompton in the Daily Telegraph, 'I would suggest they read The Village, a 1952 story of lovers divided by class that tells you more about the subtle gradations of life in the Home Counties and the cataclysmic changes wrought by war and a Labour government than any number of plays by JB Priestley o ...more
Paperback, 302 pages
Published September 22nd 2004 by Persephone Books (first published 1952)
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(showing 1-30)
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Melissa
Aug 29, 2015 Melissa rated it it was amazing
This novel opens in 1945 on the day in which the end of World War II has just been announced in the small village of Priory Dean. Everyone is celebrating and dancing in the streets but Martha Trevor and Edith Wilson still show up to their post duty at the Red Cross. During the course of their conversation we learn that they are from very different social classes; Martha is part of the upper-class gentry that live on the Hill in town and Edith is part of the working class families that live on th ...more
SarahC
Dec 05, 2011 SarahC rated it liked it
Shelves: wwii
I really rate this novel at 3.5 stars or a bit higher. It is the second of Laski's novels that I have enjoyed. She has a fine touch of examining the everyday activities of life, and then subtly slipping below the surface to write about what really disturbs the balance.

Laski wrote of the survivors of World War II in the previous novel I read, Little Boy Lost. The subject matter is the same here, only she looks at a place and its people, this small English village of the title. All inhabitants, n
...more
Margaret
Apr 11, 2012 Margaret rated it it was amazing
Shelves: borrowed-books
I thought at first that this book was not as good as Laski’s Little Boy Lost, which I loved, but as I read on I realised the simple direct style of writing contained depth and complexity and by the end I was convinced I was living in the village, amongst these people at the end of the war. It’s not as heart-rending as Little Boy Lost, but it is absorbing reading.

The Village is not only a love story, it’s a novel exploring the issues of class and social mobility, family relationships, parental co
...more
Marybeth
Aug 12, 2015 Marybeth rated it it was amazing
This was such an absorbing read, I found myself thinking about the characters throughout the day and itching to get back to its pages. I wasn't expecting such a brilliant look into the British class system framed by an innocent and tender love story. I felt a bit disappointed by the end, but that's just because I didn't want the story to end and wished to know more about what happened to everyone. The historical details add a lovely charm, and the dialogue is very witty. I'm so glad I discovered ...more
Susann
Mar 12, 2009 Susann rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Susann by: Melissa
Shelves: persephone
One of my favorite Persephone books is a sharp examination of class in 1945 England, as well as a real page-turner. Margaret and Roy are perhaps the sweetest lovers ever to be divided by class, and it's a lot of fun to root them on while hissing over Margaret's horrible parents. My two favorite characters are Maureen Wilson, Roy's frank and astute younger sister, and the wretched Trixie Beltram, universally loathed throughout the village.
Rachel
Mar 12, 2017 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Sweetly brilliant.
Maria
Sep 14, 2015 Maria rated it liked it
The Village is a beautifully rendered sketch of small town village life in the immediate aftermath of World War II. It is a village in limbo, torn between the old world order and a modern, classless society. WWII saw many barriers between the classes broken down, only to be built up again at the end; but the rendering is shoddy and the walls cannot last. Everyone in this novel is affected by class, but it is the aristocracy that are clinging on the most. They are truly bankrupt, in both financia ...more
Sarah
Jul 02, 2010 Sarah rated it liked it
The Village by Marghanita Laski, published by Persephone Books as part of their revival of out-of-date British female authors in the first part of the 20th century, could easily have been titled Pride and Prejudice. The book starts on the last night of WWII with Wendy Trevor and Edith Clark manning an air raid warning station. Wendy’s middle class husband is a retired army man turned chicken farmer and Edith, who has at times been a household maid for Wendy, is married to a lower class truck dri ...more
Jan
Mar 16, 2009 Jan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
Susann said:
One of my favorite Persephone books is a sharp examination of class in 1945 England, as well as a real page-turner. Margaret and Roy are perhaps the sweetest lovers ever to be divided by class, and it's a lot of fun to root them on while hissing over Margaret's horrible parents. My two favorite characters are Maureen Wilson, Roy's frank and astute younger sister, and the wretched Trixie Beltram, universally loathed throughout the village.

So well said, Susann. The village is Priory D
...more
Beth Bonini
Oct 20, 2010 Beth Bonini rated it liked it
Shelves: persephone-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rosemary
May 22, 2011 Rosemary rated it really liked it
Shelves: persephone
The story opens with the celebrations for the end of World War 2 in an English village, and examines class and how the barriers are breaking down as working class men are earning more than their professional middle class counterparts.

The plot here is rather predictable with middle class Margaret falling in love with the son of her mother's former servant, and I preferred the first half which was more of a comedy of manners, rather than the second half which is all about various peoples' reaction
...more
Karen
Jun 03, 2012 Karen rated it liked it
I'd put this somewhere in the middle of all of the Persephone books I've read so far. It was very well-written; it moved along quickly; I enjoyed the look at English village life just at the end of WWII; and the description of class differences is very well done. I just didn't really warm to any of the characters (except, maybe, Roy) all that much. I did find the last third of the book the most enjoyable, as things started to come together and some of the characters became a bit more interesting ...more
Joyce
May 28, 2012 Joyce rated it liked it
Didn't pack the same punch as little boy lost.
The theme of post-war social upheaval was a tinch heavy-handed. Was interesting to learn that the apex of craftsmen, printers, earned more than the gentlefolk did. Suddenly people who had lived on inherited wealth had to live by their wits. Chaos ensued.
Malaferla
Aug 05, 2013 Malaferla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
I would like to be able to read this book with the mindset of a postwar woman in Britain who'd seen her village come together during wartime . . . and then watched the flood of changes that came afterward.
Melissa
Mar 03, 2008 Melissa rated it really liked it
My first read of my Persephone splurge. It was a great book, all about the shifting that occurs after war when people start coming home. In this case, it's England after WWII. Great but quiet tale of a small town that will never be the same.
Toffeeapple
Mar 06, 2013 Toffeeapple rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a good memory-jerker for me since I was born shortly after the war ended.

It tells of the breakdown of the class system in a village after the war and how one of the characters fights the system and wins in a way that she was not totally happy with.
Runningrara
Feb 08, 2015 Runningrara rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Post-war English class system crumbling around ill-fated coupling. Classic love story.
Emily
May 10, 2010 Emily rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes realistic, British fiction, fans of Laski's other works
Recommended to Emily by: Becky
Shelves: fiction
Superb. Laski shines a brilliantly bright flashlight in the dingy, dark, cobwebby basement of the English class system during the mid-twentieth century.
Clare Sullivan
Jan 24, 2015 Clare Sullivan rated it it was amazing
I loved it - published in 1952, a well-written account of the classes and time and place. Persephone do a fabulous job of bringing these stories back to life.
Geraldine
I'm currently reading this book and finding it engrossing and delightful. An after WWII "Cranford."
Lehtomaki
Mar 04, 2015 Lehtomaki rated it did not like it
Shelves: toread-2015
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English journalist, radio panelist, and novelist: she also wrote literary biography, plays, and short stories.

Laski was born to a prominent family of Jewish intellectuals: Neville Laski was her father, Moses Gaster her grandfather, and socialist thinker Harold Laski her uncle. She was educated at Lady Barn House School and St Paul's Girls' School in Hammersmith. After a stint in fashion, she read
...more
More about Marghanita Laski...

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