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The Dwelling Place

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  1,184 ratings  ·  78 reviews
When fifteen-year-old Cissie Brodie loses her parents to cholera, she is forced out of the family cottage and left to raise her nine siblings alone. Although desperately poor, the strong-willed Cissie determines to build a new home for the Brodies. It is only a rough stone shelter, but to Cissie and her family it is enough to keep them from the workhouse.

They have friends,
Paperback, 416 pages
Published March 1st 1994 by Corgi New Ed edition (first published January 1971)
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The Glass Virgin by Catherine CooksonThe Fifteen Streets by Catherine CooksonThe Dwelling Place by Catherine CooksonFeathers In The Fire by Catherine CooksonThe Girl by Catherine Cookson
Favourite Catherine Cookson Book?
2nd out of 31 books — 10 voters
Pride and Prejudice by Jane AustenTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeJane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëWuthering Heights by Emily BrontëMrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Great Women Authors
497th out of 734 books — 177 voters

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Community Reviews

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This is my favourite Catherine Cookson novel, I've read quite a few over the years. Catherine Cookson was certainly a prolific writer of historical ficton set in England during the 1800's.

In this book Cissie Brodie at the age of fifteen is left to care for her numerous siblings when her parents die. There weren't many avenues open to Cissie, but instead of having them all split up she takes them up to the fells and makes a shelter/home for them there.

This book tells of the epic struggle that Cis
Catherine Cookson has recently become one of my favorite authors. Cookson creates powerfully touching novels of love and overcoming the odds, two things that I greatly enjoy reading about. The Dwelling place is such a novel. It tells the story of a courageous young girl who takes on the challenge of raising her many brothers and sisters. It's touching and very interesting plot wise. I recommend it to those who LOVE historical fiction and perhaps those who like not having the difficulty of someth ...more
A TV series The Dwelling Place (1994) was made based on this book.

From IMDb:
Set in the 1830's, the film tells the story of 16-year-old Cissie Brodie after the death of parents, and the repossession of the family home. She finds a barren place to live and care for her younger brothers and sisters with the help of Matthew, a local carpenter, but her life becomes complicated when the aristocratic Fischel family take an unwelcome interest.
Nov 22, 2014 Amalie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Someone who wants a different experience in the 19th century English novels
Ok, it seems there are many contradictions regarding the plot of this story and personally, I feel, this is as a result of many who had watched the mini-series believing the novel is accurate to the tv/movie adaptation, which it is not.

To clear few basic facts:

Although I think many readers of Cookson are ladies, this is not a chick-lit genre novel. (I also believe this will appeal appeals to women rather than to men) There is nothing humorous or lighthearted about a tale of a poor working class
This was a sweeping tale of Cissie and all of the hardships, tragedies, and roadblocks she faced because she wanted to keep her brothers & sisters together with her after her parents died. The setting is rural England in the first half of the 19th Century, the time that Dickens' work takes place. From living in a glorified cave, to making deep sacrifices she tries to prevail. The incidences of child labor including 7-yr.-olds in mines up to 14 hours a day and 5-yr-old boys as chimney sweeps ...more
THis one was very strange. I'm a little mixed in my opinion of it. I will say it had my undivided attention so for engrossing reading I have to give it 4 stars. So why do I say its "strange". Well, it didn't start strange (for a CC novel) but it definitely ENDED strange. I don't want to give a spoiler review so I won't say WHAT that far fetched strangeness WAS; but suffice it to say this heroine had guts, determination and a whole lot of forgiveness in her heart. Some of CC characters are so evi ...more
Donna Morris

Read this book in the 70's when I was a teenager, recently re-read it and now I remember why it has always been in the back of my mind as a great story. Catherine Cookson brings to life Cissie and the Brodie family, struggling to survive against all odds as only an author who has experienced hardships and come from the bottom up can. I always feel that Catherine Cookson "knows what makes people tick". The dialect of the common people in that part of England during that era is fun to read. Some o
Unfortunately I watched the movie that was based on this book right before reading the book. I kept seeing the movie in my mind as I read and I already knew to expect (or so I thought)and so I wasn't able to really get into the story. It didn't leave much to the imagination. The movie was very close to the book, except for the last few chapters. I'm glad that the ending of the book went in a different direction. I found that part most interesting of all because I didn't know what to expect at th ...more
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Catherine Cookson wrote so many books, sometimes they are a bit hokey, but I liked most of this book except for one very large thing. I don't believe that a rape victim would ever fall in love with their rapist. Because of this, I cannot give it a higher rating, although I liked most of the characters and admired the heroine Cissie's strength and fortitude immensely.
I love this story, but I thought the movie was MUCH better than the book. Why? Because it was so much more romantic and satisfying. I love the repentance and forgiveness theme that pretty much carries the story along. I love that goodness truly is rewarded in the "end". Not that the ending is an ending, it is rather the first day of the rest f their lives. And I love those first days. They are fresh, and filled will th renewed vigor. They are hopeful. I personally try to have many first days of ...more
This is one of my all time favourite reads.
I read it when I was a teenager.

I need to re-read it and experience the magic.

Cissie Brodie's character was endearing and
as a teenager, I think a bit of her responsibility
and endurance rubbed off on me.
Xiaowen Ju
Did anybody think it was weird that she stayed with the rapist? or that they had an understanding I mean, although in the movie I kinda understood but idk I was like really? She stay with the rapist!? Still liked it though lol
Cissie Brodie feels the weight of the world on her shoulders when her mother and father die from cholera, leaving her the sole guardian of nine younger siblings. With no income and her brothers too young to work, they are forced to vacate the house they grew up in and find shelter elsewhere.

Cissie, mature beyond her years, finds a cave and using some quick thinking builds a wall made of stone to keep the chilling winds out and furnishes it as best she can. She receives some help from a local car
This is one of the better books I've read in a while! The genre is 1800's England historical fiction. This tale is about Cissie and her family and their struggle to survive against many challenges and set backs. It's a bit sad actually - so many bad things happen to her/them! But I enjoyed the pace of the novel and the writing. The characters' unique dialect entertained me. There was a good balance of characters I liked and ones I didn't. My least favorite part of the book was the final section ...more
loved,loved this book though there's so much angst ! Beginning to realise I've read and loved quite a few books where spoiler******** (a heroine ends up with her rapist but it makes sense) ; The Demon lover , Easy Connections,
Hubby is a huge Catherine Cookson fan and introduced me to her work a couple of years ago. Needless to say, I've come to appreciate her story-telling...especially the ones as interesting as 'The Dwelling Place.'
Barbara L. Prats
This was the first Cookson that I read, and I was enraptured by the tenacity of the main character. Perhaps because I have endured, I was encouraged by the determination and strong survival instincts portrayed.
Allison Spry
A romantic tail of a young woman's determination to keep her family together during horrific times. With luck her future turns and she is rewarded by karma.

Good read for the beach or a plane.
this is my new favorite one of hers I think. my other favorite is the black velvet gown. I love the ending :)
Cindy Van de velde
I own and read all her books over and over again, she is my favorite, enjoy every single story off her!
Catherine Cookson involves you with her characters. They live hard lives, but family was important to her. Her descriptions of northern poverty are very well done
Debbie Roby
An old favorite, I re-read this one during the holidays and still loved it.
Cholera had taken her parents and left Cissie Brodie with the upbringing of a family of nine. She was barely fifteen herself when they were evicted from their cottage and forced out on to the fells. But even though they'd hardly a shilling between them, Cissie set to building a home for the Brodies with a will that would have shamed an adult. It was only a rough stone shelter, thatched as best they could, but to Cissie and her family it was enough to keep them fron the workhouse.

A really good re
Another great story of survival and a strong woman.
Kim Malavey
Great book. I love Cookson. This was a favorite.
This is set in the north of England at a time when even young children had to work and do the most soul-destroying jobs. Catherine Cookson always tells a good yarn and this book is no exception. You get to know her characters and understand the lives they lead. The main character, Cassie, has to look after the well being of all her many siblings (9) when her parents died. Her courage and determination for them all to survive and live together avoiding the poor house is outstanding. Some local ex ...more
Lee Yahnker
Several twists and turns and an unexpected ending. Story of a young girl who raises 9 younger siblings after death of her parents. Fiction
This was the first of the many Catherine Cookson books that I read. I was in a phase of loving her books and reading many of them. Although I can't remember which were my all-time favorites I know I enjoyed each one. They are stories with many tangled events that finally turn out right. The characters are valiant, honest and hard-working. The stories were always memorable long after the books were finished.
What a great surprise this book was! It was so much more then the description of the book led on to be. I did not want to put this book down. This is the first book I have ever read by this author and I have already downloaded more from her. I would have given this book 5 stars except for the start seemed a little slow. But rapidly sped up once inside the Dwelling Place :-)
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Catherine Cookson was born in Tyne Dock, the illegitimate daughter of a poverty-stricken woman, Kate, whom she believed to be her older sister. She began work in service but eventually moved south to Hastings, where she met and married Tom Cookson, a local grammar-school master. Although she was originally acclaimed as a regional writer - her novel The Round Tower won the Winifred Holtby Award for ...more
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