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Listening Valley

(Celia #2)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  579 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Nothing will stop Tonia from finding a home of her own

Tonia has lived all her life in the quiet Scottish countryside and can't imagine herself anywhere else. But when her beloved older sister gets married and moves away, Tonia begins to wonder if there aren't bigger things on the horizon for her too.

The advent of World War II brings Tonia briefly to the heart of London, wh
...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 1st 2015 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published 1944)
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4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  579 ratings  ·  79 reviews


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Sarah
Nov 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a little gem of a book! I have just finished reading it and am feeling a little sad, because I would have liked it to go on and on for a lot longer: but all good things must come to an end, as the saying goes... D E Stevenson is definitely one of my all-time favourite authors, and I disagree with reviewers who write that this is not one of her best: for me, that discribes "Mrs. Tim Christie". It takes all sorts!

I especially loved the main character, Antonia, with whom I could relate totally
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Julie  Durnell
Aug 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: england-uk
I loved this endearing story of Tonia Melville as she emerges from her repressive cocoon and takes wing through the love of her older husband. Their relationship is very sweet and he is key to her finding herself. Her friends and neighbors that she surrounds herself with are interesting characters especially the Scottish people! This is one of my favorite books of D.E. Stevenson.
QNPoohBear
Lou and Antonia Melville live in an ordinary house in the city. They spend their days in the nursery with Nannie except for a daily walk. During those walks the girls spy a walled garden they long to see inside. One day while Nannie is out, the two sisters take off on an adventure that will change their lives. Lou, always bold and daring, marches right up to the mysterious house and rings the bell. A kind lady answers and brings them in for tea. They have the most marvelous time eating eclairs a ...more
classic reverie
War & Romance

I had read Celia's House first & even though they tell you it is not necessary to read Celia's House to enjoy Listening Valley, I am glad I did because the story becomes clearer & complete. I loved these two books & I will be looking into more of her books. This book had some mystery to it as well as wartime story line which is very interesting being it was written in 1944. Loved it!
Laura
Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Re-read as audiobook.
Susan Dove Lempke
Such a gentle, comforting book--vintage D.E. Stevenson with its Scottish setting, family dynamics, and normal-with-a-backbone heroine. I always enjoy her World War II books, which are clearly so based on her own life and the stories she heard as a military wife.

Very glad that Sourcebooks has republished some of of Stevenson's books and hope they do more.
Susan
Sep 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, library
In this old-fashioned romance/Cinderella story, a young woman is initially overshadowed by her parents and sister but gradually comes into her own with help from new friends and neighbors. Most of this enjoyable story is set in a charming, small town in Scotland during WWII, but the reader also gets a picture of London during the Blitz.
Katrina
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good light read featuring wartime Britain and written in 1944.
https://piningforthewest.co.uk/2018/0...
Teri-K
Jun 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: histfic-light
Another score from a small library near my son's house that hasn't tossed out all of its older books. I'm a huge fan of Stevenson's Mrs. Tim stories, I own them all, but it's hard to get her others if you don't want to buy them, and I'm trying to downsize my home library, not increase it. So I was very happy to see this book on the library shelf.

Unfortunately I didn't love this book like I do her Mrs. Tim and Miss Buncle stories, though I did basically enjoy it. The problem for me was the MC, a
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Hope
Feb 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: light-reading
Listening Valley is sort of a sequel to Celia's House. The young American that is introduced in the last page of the first book reappears in Chapter 20 of Listening Valley. Many of the allusions to family names in Listening Valley make more sense if you've read the first book. BUT Listening Valley can be read as a stand-alone because the story line is completely different. It is not as satisfying as many of Stevenson's other titles because it is not as light-hearted. It was published in 1944 and ...more
K.
Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
1944.

Lovely companion to "Celia's House." I was glad to see a few of the characters from that book again.

Beguiling, charming, well-done and satisfying comfort food. Instead of a green smoothie (that can be hard to get down but is very nutrient-dense and we should all have more of that, but just don't do it often enough, right?) this is more like homemade chicken pot-pie with wholesome veggies and lots of buttery crust. Still good for you, but perhaps not if it's all you lived on. Maybe. I'm su
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Gina Boyd
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who doesn't love reading a cozy WWII novel in one sitting? Is there a better way to start a new year?
Theresa
Mar 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english-lit


I was excited to see that “Listening Valley”, another D.E. Stevenson novel, is being republished and released in January!

Here is the first paragraph from my (old, hardback) copy:

“Most people, looking back at their childhood, see it as a misty country half-forgotten or only to be remembered through an evocative sound or scent, but some episodes of those short years remain clear and brightly colored like a landscape seen through the wrong end of a telescope. It was thus that Louise Melville was al
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Katherine
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a gem of a book!! Tonia is as dear a heroine as you can find. And, of course, Scotland is a character as well. All of this set against the backdrop of WWII, and the struggles and joy in a small highland village. Wonderful romance...wish I'd known about it when I was younger. Would have loved this even as a preteen.
Ann
Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anglophilia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Angie
Sep 29, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good-uns, historical
Listening Valley takes place in Scotland just prior to World War II. Tonia and her sister Lou grow up thick as thieves in a world apart from their extremely detached parents and the other kids in town. Tonia particularly is dreamier and more sensitive than the gregarious Lou. Whenever things become too much, she retreats to that quiet and calm place in her mind she dubs Listening Valley. There she can suss things out on her own time and make sense of them. When Lou runs off to get married at 18, ...more
Carolynne
The novel began with lots of promise, with frail, quiet Tonia and her lively attractive sister Lou growing up within a dysfunctional family and exploring the world around them. When the more vibrant Lou marries young and leaves Tonia to deal with her distant parents by herself, no one expects Tonia to marry, let alone make "a good match"! Spoiler ahead:
But unexpectedly Tonia meets a kind, wealthy older man who is enchanted by her, and wants not only to marry her but to help fill some of the ga
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Jannah (Cloud Child)
Poor Antonia. From the very beginning she was treated as a soft unworkable little thing always needing to be helped by others, always seeing herself as less. The story follows her adventures with her more daring sister Lou, the press of her absent parent, her strange first marriage, her freedom in her legacy and finally a troubled romance.

Lovely warm and sweet. Such a delightfully comfortable book to read.
The characters are sketched nicely but the thing I feel lacking is the deepness and attach
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Cricket Muse
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A companion to Celia's House, yet it's not until much later in the story that the family of Dunnian is trotted out. Nevertheless, it's Antonia and her sister who are the main portion of the plot at the beginning, and there is much about their symbiotic relationship until Lou runs off with Jack, which leaves odd little Tonia bereft.

Fortunately, our dear little heroine is rescued by a (much older) prince of a fellow who helps her gain confidence. Antonia must deal with leechy relatives, spies, and
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Julie
Feb 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rereads
It pulled me in and kept me reading, but it is still not among my very favorites for this author, although I know it is for my daughter and other friends. I like Tonia, the main character, very much. I like her marriage to an older man, who carefully builds her up from the neglectful and careless upbringing of her parents. It really is a good book.
Bookworman
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another gem by Stevenson! It started out a bit dark but I started loving it about a third of the way through. Read "Celia's House" first as some of the same characters make an appearance in this book as well.
Elaine
Jul 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this book after reading Celia's House

I liked this book better than Celia's House, but I was glad I read it second. Many of the characters in CH come up in this book. It's delightful!
Margareth8537
Aug 20, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, war
Not her best
Evelyn Foss
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love being in Scotland with D E Stevenson.
Anna
Nov 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another easy but enjoyable read by this author. I did find it a little tedious and drawn out for the final third of the book. Perhaps I just need to read another author for a while; I’ve been on a bit of a DE Stevenson marathon lately. I did find it interesting to read about people’s experiences of the war year from an author who actually lived through them and likely heard soldiers’ and pilots’ accounts first hand. At times, I feel her portrayal of interpersonal relationships are a bit too whit ...more
Karla
Jul 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this because somewhere on the internet someone claimed it was their favorite book and raved about it. I liked it OK, but it wasn't a real standout for me. It is about a younger sister who must strike out and make a life for herself after living in the shadow of her sister. She manages to have a good life and do well, but it wasn't a story that stayed with me.
Elizabeth Wooten
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I flew through this book! I really enjoyed it. I love historical fiction and war time stories. I really liked the main character too. It’s definitely a warm and fuzzy type of book with a happy ending
Amy
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clean read and loved the pace. Fell slowly in love with this little gem!
Sshelly
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. The author has a rhythm of a different time but beautifully written.
Cheryl
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a sweet story set during WW II.
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Full name: Dorothy Emily Stevenson.
Her father was a Cousin of Robert Louis Stevenson

D.E. Stevenson had an enormously successful writing career: between 1923 and 1970, four million copies of her books were sold in Britain and three million in the States. Like E.F. Benson, Ann Bridge, O. Douglas or Dorothy L. Sayers (to name but a few) her books are funny, intensely readable, engaging and dependable
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Other books in the series

Celia (2 books)
  • Celia's House
“There are adventures of the spirit and one can travel in books and interest oneself in people and affairs. One need never be dull as long as one has friends to help, gardens to enjoy and books in the long winter evenings.” 53 likes
“...some people might think our lives dull and uneventful, but it does not seem so to us. ...it is not travel and adventure that make a full life. There are adventures of the spirit and one can travel in books and interest oneself in people and affairs. One need ever be dull as long as one has friends to help, gardens to enjoy and books in the long winter evenings.” 29 likes
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