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Minnie's Room: The Peacetime Stories of Mollie Panter-Downes
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Minnie's Room: The Peacetime Stories of Mollie Panter-Downes

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  88 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Contains ten stories describing aspects of British life in the years after the war.
Paperback, 125 pages
Published 2002 by Persephone Books
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Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: persephone-books
A brilliant, superb collection of stories. I have now read all the currently in-print books by this author. These stories reveal so very much in sharp, shining prose. I just love her writing and wish, greedily perhaps, there were just a few more stories in this rather slim volume. It took an afternoon to read and I wish I had another afternoon's worth to look forward to.

I am so pleased to have discovered this author's work - and I hope her writing gets lots more attention.
May 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: persephone
Mollie Panter-Downes wrote stories and articles from England for the New Yorker through the Second World War and after. While the stories in Good Evening, Mrs Craven were set in England during the war, those in Minnie's Room were written later (1947-65). Many of them show people whose lives have been battered by the war and its aftermath. They're sometimes bleak, sometimes hilarious. The characters are ordinary people made interesting by details that pick up on their charming, absurd or pathetic ...more
Nov 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This companion volume to Persephone book no. 8 Good Evening, Mrs Craven contains ten stories describing aspects of British life in the years after the war. 'Minnie's Room' itself is about a family who are unable to believe that their maid wants to leave them to live in a room of her own. An elderly couple emigrates because of 'the dragon out to gobble their modest, honourable incomes.' The sisters in 'Beside the Still Waters' grumble because 'Everything is so terribly difficult nowadays.'

Austen to Zafón
Persephone reissued Good Evening, Mrs Craven: The Wartime Stories of Mollie Panter-Downes a few years ago, which is a group of stories that take place during WWII in Britain. I loved those. Panter-Downes doesn't disappoint in this companion volume of post-WWII stories. England suffered the privations of war long after 1945, with rationing continuing into the fifties and a whole way of life destroyed. In fact, I think I may like this collection even better, although I'd need to re-read the first ...more
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
In this slim collection of Mollie Panter-Downes' short stories, originally published in THE NEW-YORKER between 1947 and 1965, the author explores the ways in which British society is changing post-WW2. Each of these stories were hopeful and heartbreaking in measure, with characters so vivid and real that you might see yourself or your family/friends in them. At times I had to remind myself that these were fictional, as I would have just as easily believed they were works of non-fiction.

In "Minn
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
What happens when wars end? The war isn't there any more but its effects are. That's what MPD manages to show in these short stories. The best stories for me were those set when the war was still recently ended, when people realised with a startling regret that they were still alive but life would never be the same again. 'Minnie's room' is my favoourite story in this collection. MPD is great on people dealing with change, especially change at home: where we live, who we live with, who provides ...more
Sep 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
The book-end to Good Evening, Mrs.Craven in the sense that the short stories contained within are mostly post-war by both theme and date written.

Mollie Panter-Downes has the knack for drawing the reader into each tiny world and her worlds often leave a detail in your mind to remember.
Feb 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wwii
Mollie Panter-Downes wrote the Letter from London for the New Yorker all through World War II and nothing evokes London during those years better than she does in those dispatches. This is a small book of her short stories about England after the war and she manages to capture a larger world by focusing on specific characters. Her touch is delicate, always.
Russell James
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
These are her 'peacetime stories'. (There is another collection of her wartime ones.) They are all good, though those written in the 40s and 50s are the most atmospheric aNnd reflective of their time. This is how we (we of the midddle classes) were.
Dec 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Nice collection of short stories with a lot to say about post war Britain. Small but perfectly crafted works of observation of 'revolution' as everything, however small and everybody, however insignificant has changed forever.
Moving and monumental.
Sep 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a great writer! I thoroughly enjoyed this. All of these stories made me feel genuine feelings in the span of just a few pages. Minnie's room--tear!
May 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Brilliant, beautifully crafted stories. Read this.
Apr 30, 2016 added it
Beautiful short stories.
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Mary Patricia "Mollie" Panter-Downes was a novelist and newspaper columnist for The New Yorker. Aged sixteen, she wrote The Shoreless Sea which became a bestseller; eight editions were published in 1923 and 1924, and the book was serialised in The Daily Mirror. Her second novel The Chase was published in 1925.

After her marriage to Aubrey Robinson in 1927, the couple moved to Surrey, and in 1938 Pa
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