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A House in Flanders

3.50  ·  Rating Details  ·  44 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
In 1951, a shy and solitary 14-year-old boy was sent by his parents to spend the summer with ‘the aunts in Flanders’. So began for Michael Jenkins a formative experience which, when he came to write about it half a century later, reappeared to him ‘as in a dream, complete but surreal’.

A House in Flanders, his account of those summer months spent on the edge of the Flander
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Paperback, Independent Voices, 176 pages
Published May 24th 2001 by Souvenir Press Ltd (first published January 1st 1992)
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Mary
Apr 28, 2016 Mary rated it really liked it
What a lovely gem of a book!
Eccentric Aunts, heartbroken lovers, secrets and the never ending shadow cast by the two world wars.
A bygone era where everything was peaceful.
I could just imagine myself there.
I loved this endearing story with the many wonderful characters and descriptions of the countryside.
Julie  Durnell
Jul 11, 2016 Julie Durnell rated it really liked it
A very good accounting of a young boy spending the summer at his family's home in Flanders. His descriptions of life and his aunts are endearing seen through a fourteen-year olds eyes. This was certainly worth the read and made me wish to visit and have tea with them all!
Rosemary
Jun 06, 2016 Rosemary rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this little gem of a book. Set in northern France during one golden summer, when an English boy is sent to stay with French 'aunts', it's heavily nostalgic but all the sweeter for it. One to savour and reread!
SarahC
Mar 15, 2016 SarahC rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michal Jenkins' memoir is a beautiful story with depth and range to qualify as both a gentle read and an evocative account of rural Europe after war had taken its toll. The story spans the summer of 1951 during which a young English boy is sent by his parents for the first time to visit a family only ever referred to as the "the aunts in Flanders". In this manner begins the very human story of being vulnerable and embracing the unknown. The young man discovers a connection with a family not trul ...more
KOMET
Jun 16, 2013 KOMET rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here is a remarkable story (told by an unnamed Englishman, sharing with the reader his memories of the long summer of 1951, which he spent as an adolescent in a small French village straddling the Belgian frontier) of a family largely made up of women. Strong, resilient, loving and compassionate women of varied temperaments across 2 generations. They are "the Aunts", who, along with an "Uncle" and a host of relations, eagerly welcome the English adolescent (who, thanks to his mother, was already ...more
Rachel
Aug 06, 2015 Rachel rated it really liked it
Simply lovely. So many of my favorite books center on houses (Northanger Abbey, Bleak House) and coming-of-age narratives (I capture the castle!). Jenkins' memoir of a summer spent in Flanders at the tender age of fourteen provides another addition to this list. Eccentric aunts, heartbroken lovers, secrets, and the never ending shadow cast by two wars in 1950s France and all told with the eye of a novelist. Who cares about what is true or invented in such a tale? Not me. The Slightly Foxed paper ...more
Faith Donovan
Apr 07, 2016 Faith Donovan rated it liked it
Three and a half stars--a pleasant and evocative little memoir though I wish it had come with a family tree.
Emma
Aug 22, 2016 Emma rated it liked it
Shelves: book-circle-2
A pleasant read about a boy who visits his aunts in France, each chapter is an account of each aunt.
Anna Gabur
Apr 12, 2013 Anna Gabur rated it did not like it
A light, easy and perfectly useless book. It is so empty and fake that I don't see any point in reading it, except killing time.
Patty Melin
Nov 03, 2008 Patty Melin rated it it was amazing
I want to go to Flanders NOW and see this plain, the house, and especially this family. A short but lovely story
Janet W
Jan 06, 2013 Janet W rated it really liked it
Pre-WWII life in Flanders through character sketches from the POV of a 14 y/o boy
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Michael Jenkins has spent most of his career in the British Diplomatic Service and has served in Paris, Moscow, the Hague, Bonn, Washington, and Brussels, where he was for a time Deputy Secretary-General of the European Commission.

While at the Embassy in Moscow, Jenkins wrote his first book "Arakcheev, Grand Vizier of the Russian Empire," a biography of one of the ministers of Alexander I. He was
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