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The Dwelling Place

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,535 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
When fifteen-year-old Cissie Brodie loses her parents to cholera, she is forced out of the family cottage and left to raise her nine siblings alone. Although desperately poor, the strong-willed Cissie determines to build a new home for the Brodies. It is only a rough stone shelter, but to Cissie and her family it is enough to keep them from the workhouse.

They have friends,
Paperback, 416 pages
Published March 1st 1994 by Corgi New Ed edition (first published January 1971)
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Oct 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is my favourite Catherine Cookson novel, I've read quite a few over the years. Catherine Cookson was certainly a prolific writer of historical ficton set in England during the 1800's.

In this book Cissie Brodie at the age of fifteen is left to care for her numerous siblings when her parents die. There weren't many avenues open to Cissie, but instead of having them all split up she takes them up to the fells and makes a shelter/home for them there.

This book tells of the epic struggle that Cis
Jul 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Catherine Cookson has recently become one of my favorite authors. Cookson creates powerfully touching novels of love and overcoming the odds, two things that I greatly enjoy reading about. The Dwelling place is such a novel. It tells the story of a courageous young girl who takes on the challenge of raising her many brothers and sisters. It's touching and very interesting plot wise. I recommend it to those who LOVE historical fiction and perhaps those who like not having the difficulty of someth ...more
Feb 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bettie
A TV series The Dwelling Place (1994) was made based on this book.

From IMDb:
Set in the 1830's, the film tells the story of 16-year-old Cissie Brodie after the death of parents, and the repossession of the family home. She finds a barren place to live and care for her younger brothers and sisters with the help of Matthew, a local carpenter, but her life becomes complicated when the aristocratic Fischel family take an unwelcome interest.
Aug 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eesti-keeles, 2016
I honestly had no idea that I would fall in love with this book when I randomly picked it from the library shelves. But I did fall in love with this story. It's both simple, yet thought-provoking. It's both beautiful and horrible. And I really, really liked it and found it actually quite difficult to put down, but now I'm hard-pressed to find the right things to say about my reading experience.

If interested, you can find my short thoughts HERE.
THis one was very strange. I'm a little mixed in my opinion of it. I will say it had my undivided attention so for engrossing reading I have to give it 4 stars. So why do I say its "strange". Well, it didn't start strange (for a CC novel) but it definitely ENDED strange. I don't want to give a spoiler review so I won't say WHAT that far fetched strangeness WAS; but suffice it to say this heroine had guts, determination and a whole lot of forgiveness in her heart. Some of CC characters are so evi ...more
Donna Morris
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it

Read this book in the 70's when I was a teenager, recently re-read it and now I remember why it has always been in the back of my mind as a great story. Catherine Cookson brings to life Cissie and the Brodie family, struggling to survive against all odds as only an author who has experienced hardships and come from the bottom up can. I always feel that Catherine Cookson "knows what makes people tick". The dialect of the common people in that part of England during that era is fun to read. Some o
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Someone who wants a different experience in the 19th century English novels
Ok, it seems there are many contradictions regarding the plot of this story and personally, I feel, this is as a result of many who had watched the mini-series believing the novel is accurate to the tv/movie adaptation, which it is not.

To clear few basic facts:

Although I think many readers of Cookson are ladies, this is not a chick-lit genre novel. (I also believe this will appeal appeals to women rather than to men) There is nothing humorous or lighthearted about a tale of a poor working class
Nov 27, 2011 rated it liked it
This was a sweeping tale of Cissie and all of the hardships, tragedies, and roadblocks she faced because she wanted to keep her brothers & sisters together with her after her parents died. The setting is rural England in the first half of the 19th Century, the time that Dickens' work takes place. From living in a glorified cave, to making deep sacrifices she tries to prevail. The incidences of child labor including 7-yr.-olds in mines up to 14 hours a day and 5-yr-old boys as chimney sweeps ...more
Sep 11, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Unfortunately I watched the movie that was based on this book right before reading the book. I kept seeing the movie in my mind as I read and I already knew to expect (or so I thought)and so I wasn't able to really get into the story. It didn't leave much to the imagination. The movie was very close to the book, except for the last few chapters. I'm glad that the ending of the book went in a different direction. I found that part most interesting of all because I didn't know what to expect at th ...more
May 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, historical
SPOILER ALERT - This book includes a rape.

Catherine Cookson wrote so many books, sometimes they are a bit hokey, but I liked most of this book except for one very large thing. I don't believe that a rape victim would ever fall in love with their rapist. Because of this, I cannot give it a higher rating, although I liked most of the characters and admired the heroine Cissie's strength and fortitude immensely.
Sep 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
Started off ok, as expected in typical Catherine Cookson style, usual ups and downs, earthy descriptions, hardship, hard working people making the best of things, class tensions and strife...and then became distasteful in ways that I found appalling, particularly in the choice made by the female protagonist at the end.
Emilia Ju
Nov 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Did anybody think it was weird that she stayed with the rapist? or that they had an understanding I mean, although in the movie I kinda understood but idk I was like really? She stay with the rapist!? Still liked it though lol
Nov 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my all time favourite reads.
I read it when I was a teenager.

I need to re-read it and experience the magic.

Cissie Brodie's character was endearing and
as a teenager, I think a bit of her responsibility
and endurance rubbed off on me.
Miriam Ryan
Dec 15, 2016 rated it did not like it
Utterly disgusting outcome.
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Catherine Cookson book I have read and it was excellent. The tag line on the front of the book says "Britain's Best-Loved Storyteller" and that is just what the author is -- an incredible storyteller that keeps the reader engaged until the very end.

This story revolves around Cissy Brodie, a 15 year old girl who is left to care for her numerous siblings when her parents die. If that wasn't enough, they are evicted from their home. Cissy is determined to keep the family together
Sue Harris
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's been a while since I read A Catherine Cookson book and I wasn't sure about it at the beginning because my preferred books are thrillers, but I really enjoyed it. She really is the best at writing about overcoming hardship.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
I read this book 30 years ago and luckily it's as good as I remembered. An excellent book. 5 stars.
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Catherine Cookson is one of my favorite author.
Jul 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Cissie Brodie feels the weight of the world on her shoulders when her mother and father die from cholera, leaving her the sole guardian of nine younger siblings. With no income and her brothers too young to work, they are forced to vacate the house they grew up in and find shelter elsewhere.

Cissie, mature beyond her years, finds a cave and using some quick thinking builds a wall made of stone to keep the chilling winds out and furnishes it as best she can. She receives some help from a local car
Aug 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is one of the better books I've read in a while! The genre is 1800's England historical fiction. This tale is about Cissie and her family and their struggle to survive against many challenges and set backs. It's a bit sad actually - so many bad things happen to her/them! But I enjoyed the pace of the novel and the writing. The characters' unique dialect entertained me. There was a good balance of characters I liked and ones I didn't. My least favorite part of the book was the final section ...more
Mar 09, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this story, but I thought the movie was MUCH better than the book. Why? Because it was so much more romantic and satisfying. I love the repentance and forgiveness theme that pretty much carries the story along. I love that goodness truly is rewarded in the "end". Not that the ending is an ending, it is rather the first day of the rest f their lives. And I love those first days. They are fresh, and filled will th renewed vigor. They are hopeful. I personally try to have many first days of ...more
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Just when I think I've read her best novel, I read another book by Catherine Cookson that I immediately declare is her best. The Dwelling Place is such a brilliant story it was difficult to read the last pages knowing that I would be finished. The characters, like all of her characters, are so real that even when I'm not reading the book I'm still thinking about them. Cookson, one of my favorite authors, can express a year, complete with facts and feelings in one sentence. Her books are perfectl ...more
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Cholera had taken her parents and left Cissie Brodie with the upbringing of a family of nine. She was barely fifteen herself when they were evicted from their cottage and forced out on to the fells. But even though they'd hardly a shilling between them, Cissie set to building a home for the Brodies with a will that would have shamed an adult. It was only a rough stone shelter, thatched as best they could, but to Cissie and her family it was enough to keep them fron the workhouse.

A really good re
Mar 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This was the first of the many Catherine Cookson books that I read. I was in a phase of loving her books and reading many of them. Although I can't remember which were my all-time favorites I know I enjoyed each one. They are stories with many tangled events that finally turn out right. The characters are valiant, honest and hard-working. The stories were always memorable long after the books were finished.
Movie well acted and tolerably well done. Story has a strange ending as far as I have read-Thomas Hardy, George Sand, Tolstoy, Flaubert, Samuel Richardson, all equal women - young women-devastation??? Death, and husband, lover, but a rapist becomes repentant and possible lover? Book is surprising a quick read. Script for Ray Marshalls-film-good, actors: Ray Stevens, Tracy Whitfield. Setting Northunbria-England, mines horrific scenes, natural settings are beautiful-almost haunting in film.
Lydia Klima
May 04, 2015 rated it liked it
I love Catherine Cookson. She was Britain's greatest bestselling author before J.K. Rowling, but I had a hard time getting through this; probably because I'm too busy to sit down and really enjoy this, but that's my fault, not Cookson's. All her books have Biblical themes.

Watch Netflix. Cookson's books are made into movies. The best is THE MOTH. Catherine Zeta-Jones stars in one of them. She's beautiful, as always.
May 18, 2012 rated it liked it
I read all of Catherine Cookson's books some years ago and enjoyed them immensley. I recently re-read all of them and find that on a second look I found them all so very predictable, and was rather disappointed. However I'm sure that it is my tastes that have changed not the calibre of her story telling.
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Catherine Cookson was born in Tyne Dock, the illegitimate daughter of a poverty-stricken woman, Kate, who Catherine believed was her older sister. Catherine began work in service but eventually moved south to Hastings, where she met and married Tom Cookson, a local grammar-school master.

Although she was originally acclaimed as a regional writer - her novel The Round Tower won the Winifred Holtby
More about Catherine Cookson...

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