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The Children's Hour

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  391 ratings  ·  43 reviews
In their comfortable old family home overlooking the sea, two sisters, Nest and Mina, live in solitude with memories of a once-idyllic childhood, and of the enchanted "children's hour" when their mother would regale them with tales of fantasy and delight. But the make-believe world of the story spinner didn't protect them from the reality of a shocking family tragedy best ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 13th 2005 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published August 4th 2003)
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Old folk reminiscing.

Marcia Willet started writing at the age of fifty and has since written 20 novels. It is not surprising then, that this book was peopled with old folk, all churning up distant memories. I listened to the Audible version, read by June Barry, who is also getting on in years, and by the end I could feel my hair greying. Admittedly, there are some young folk in the narrative and flashbacks to when those whose memories we shared, were young, but overall, it was if I'd walked into
May 15, 2013 Neb rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: readers of Rosamund Pilcher
Charming story about dealing with love, loss and family. Sort of "Rosamund Pilcher light". Brave use of present tense for the flashback scenes of wartime England, but it works. Believable characters, nice character development arcs, satisfying resolutions without being overly saccharine. I would definitely read more by this author. I find this type of story to be good "summer reading".
Sarah Sammis
I tried reading The Children's Hour for a Bookcrossing bookring because it came so highly recommended and because the blurb on the back of the book sounded interesting: "...But when their sister Georgie, now somewhat frail and forgetful, comes to stay at Ottercombe, memories of their past start to revisit them. As a child, Georgie claimed to know all their secrets — secrets that she now wants to share..."

If there were any secrets worth sharing, I didn't last long enough in the book to find out
Shirley (bknkck)
I didn't take to this book right away. Some British terms weren't familiar, the story switches from the present back in time through memories and I just wasn't sure where the story was going. It was annoying enough to give up on ... like some I have.

One of my favorite quotes from the book, which is repeated several times, "Everyone has a right to their own history."

There is a show of strong loyalty and unconditional support among the siblings and extended family, especially as old family secre
Kerry Hennigan
The Children’s Hour is the story of three elderly sisters who are brought together in their declining years by family members while the eldest sister is waiting for admission to a nursing home. Georgie is physically frail and increasingly forgetful, but her temporary return to the family home where they all grew up and where her sisters Mina and Nest still live, dredges up all sorts of memories and family secrets.

Marcia Willett has written some charming novels. However, in this instance, after l
This story unfolds gently, with secrets being gradually revealed for the main characters: three elderly sisters. There are inevitably many flashbacks to their childhood and early adult life, but rather than being intrusive or annoying, they work extremely well. Marcia Willett adopts the present tense in the memories or dreams from the past, which makes it all the more real.

I found the characters believable and three-dimensional, and the story often moving. On re-reading, four and half years aft
Oh my gosh, this was probably one of the worst books I've ever read. To think that this author has 13+ other books she's written; I wonder if they are as bad as this one was. This was one of those books that I could skip over paragraphs, especially when she gave paragraphs and paragraphs and even one time 2-1/2 pages describing about what the dogs were doing - ahhh! Who cares! What's up with the main character, Mina's "po-po-po of sighing breath" and to boot, quite a number of times throughout t ...more
I wouldn't have picked this up at a bookstore but my mom sent it to me in a box of birthday goodies. It was a bit hard to get into, but once I was about half way into it I was caught up in the characters. Lots of family secrets, lots of heartbreak, lots of reminiscing to those days of a first love... It sounds gooey, doesn't it? It was, sort of. One thing I didn't like at all - pages of description of the English countryside. I don't know anything about plants and don't need to read long run-on ...more
This book and author was a happy discovery. The story, the characters...I was fully immersed. I was sad when it ended. A new favorite author.
Dawn Pisturino
Tedious. The author spends too much time telling and not enough time showing. She takes too long getting into the story.
Sheila Kyle
great atmosphere--felt I was right there--generations of family to know and grow fond of---didn't want it to end.
Pearson, Barbara
A good recreational read set in contemporary England. Interesting twists and turns without being too heavy.
Holly Colbert
This book overall was good but it took a long time to pick up! For me, it didn't pick up till a little over half the book! But once it did it kept me engaged and at the end, I was a little teary eyed!
This book starts out pretty slow, it took me a while before I really started to enjoy it, as a matter of fact more then half way. I really enjoy Marcia Willett's writing but this one is not one that I would choose to. It takes place and the very beginning of WW II the family has a summer home in the Devon country side along the ocean. The Father works in London so it is primarily the Mother Lydia who suffers from asthma and bronchitis, and the children that live in this beautiful old home most o ...more
I did enjoy the book. Slow to start, ok in the middle and a predictable end!! It was just a good story, nothing overly dramatic.
Jan Stone
Oct 29, 2014 Jan Stone rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jan by: picked it up on a cruise ship
Fun book perfect for a vacation. Easy to read story with a few twists.
Jina Howell-Forbes
Mar 12, 2013 Jina Howell-Forbes rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: British mystery lovers who like complex charaters
This family saga that alternates between present day occurrences, and reminiscences of several different events that occurred in that family over the past 70 years. The story is told from multiple points of view. Many family secrets are held by family members, and the meat of the story is contained in those secrets. Since the secrets come out slowly, with family members holding different pieces and perspectives of pivotal events, the book read like a jig-saw puzzle.

I loved the characters, their
Leah Phillips
I am a sucker for family dramas like these, easy reading.
Very good book
A beautifully written book with descriptions of places and events that you could envision unfolding right before you. The story follows the lives of five small children spending their time in a large house by the sea. Through flashbacks and present day events, you learn about their lives from childhood and on into their adult years with happy and sad times wonderfully recounted. The characters were very endearing, full of life and with flaws that made them very interesting. novel to savour!!!
If you are looking for a fast-paced page-turner, this is not for you. Three sisters, Georgie, who has Alzheimer's; Nest, who is crippled; and motherly Mina come to terms with secrets from their past. As always, characters are three-dimensional and real. One thing I really like about Marcia Willett is her willingness to put older characters front and center, and show they are still participating in life. Other Willett books do this better, but this is still worth reading.
Jun 23, 2009 Jodi rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one
(page 1 - 150) I bought this at a garage sale for a quarter and so far I am wishing I had saved my money. Ho-hum is about all I can say so far. However, I have a hard time putting a book down once I have begun to read. I will see what I think at the end.

I did finish the book, but found it rather boring. Even though all these big secrets were revealed, it was just not very interesting. Ho-hum is the best word I can think up to summarize my opinion of the book.
I had a nice time reading this very English family drama. Though overly predictable in parts, the plot still held a few surprises. The strong female characters were really what made this book so enjoyable - and also their dogs! There was certainly a lot of drama in this book and plenty of big issues like Alzheimer's, infidelity and growing older in general. There were many moments that seemed very genuine. All in all, an enjoyable read!
This isn't normally the kind of book I would read, it is slow paced, not a mystery or anything but it was good, I enjoyed it. It's about 5 children who are now elderly and are back in their old home and they discover secrets to their past, of their parents, it's good, not a thrilling page turner by any means but a lovely read just the same.
This was a wonderful read. A very moving story about family relationships, secrets, betrayal and moving on. I did skip a very small part due to a character who was in the book for a very short time whose language I found offensive, but it was so short that I didn't miss anything.
Kim Barbano
Wonderful story but too much description and setting the scene.
I really liked this book. When I found myself reading three books at the same time, this is the one I would keep coming back to. Sure, it was predictable but very pleasantly written. A good "cuddle-up-on-the-sofa-read".
What I call an "easy read"--can be picked up and down whenever and read on a bus/plane/train!! My first Marcia Willett book!! I might read another one . Probably pick one up in charity shop!!
Marcia Willet did not start her writing career until she was 50 years old. so inspiring. if you like family stories set in england, then she is a good author for you.
I picked this up for the title and cover, but found the storytelling and characters to be compelling. The ending wasn't what I expected, but was as it should have been.
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Marcia Willett began her career as a novelist when she was fifty years old. Since that first novel Marcia has written twenty more under her own name as well as a number of short stories. She has also written four books under the pseudonym "Willa Marsh", and is published in more than sixteen countries.

Marcia Willett's early life was devoted to the ballet, but her dreams of becoming a ballerina end
More about Marcia Willett...
A Week in Winter A Summer in the Country The Summer House The Birdcage: A Novel The Way We Were

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