Sue's Reviews > The Bells of Burracombe

The Bells of Burracombe by Lilian Harry
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Dec 28, 08

Read in December, 2008

Warm, easy to read. Liked the main character and the others she meets. Good historical references to the Festival of Britain. Interesting bits about the changing society just after the war.

For example one woman wants to expand her life, having had responsibility during the war. But on returning home her father expects her to keep house and look after him. Her brother should inherit the estate, but has no interest in doing so. The older brother, who had always expected to inherit, dies in the war, and the father assumes that the younger son will take on that responsibility, without allowing for his younger son's own interests and needs. The son believes that the age of big estates is over and that the estate should be broken down into smaller lots and sold off, a prospect which his father cannot comprehend.

Also interesting pieces about schooling and teaching in that era. Sounds rather sweet, and nothing like today's schools. Nature walks for example - do they still do those, or has the spectre of Health & Safety terrified teachers out of taking their children anywhere so dangerous as into 'nature'?

The story about being evacuated from London and split up from her sister is moving and, I believe, quite a realistic possibility. Mum and her brother were evacuated to different places, although they both went home again afterwards. The 'lost sister' turning out to be connected to the village, and turning up at the end of the book, just seemed too much of a coincidence to take seriously.

As always, a lot of the enjoyment from this book came from the historical and social setting, which seemed to be accurate and vividly described.
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