The Village
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The Village

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  73 ratings  ·  15 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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Sarah
The Village by Marghanita Laski, published by Persephone Books as part of their revival of out-of-date British female authors in the first part of the 20th century, could easily have been titled Pride and Prejudice.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
SarahC
Dec 05, 2011 SarahC rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
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
Jan
Apr 14, 2009 Jan rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rosemary
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
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
Susann
Mar 15, 2009 Susann rated it 5 of 5 stars
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.
Joyce
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.
Toffeeapple
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.
Melissa
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.
Malaferla
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.
Emily
May 10, 2010 Emily rated it 5 of 5 stars
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.
Geraldine
I'm currently reading this book and finding it engrossing and delightful. An after WWII "Cranford."
Rose Ann
Excellent book from our friends at Persephone Books. Am I the only one who wanted to slap Wendy?
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English journalist, radio panelist, and novelist: she also wrote literary biography, plays, and short stories.

Lanksi was 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 Engl...more
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