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The House at Old Vine (House #2)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  501 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Beginning in the fifteenth century and concluding at the time of the Restoration, this is the second volume in the 'House' trilogy. The House at Old Vine is a colourful account of a turbulent period in English history containing religious persecution, war, rebellion and social change. The house in Suffolk is a dramatic link between the six characters who inhabit it during ...more
Published (first published 1961)
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Jun 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WHEW! I cannot wait to start #3 House at Sunset.

This one is a 4.5 star. I rounded up because it holds some of my most favorite characters in all of Norah Lofts' HUGE output. This is the Townhouse in Baildon (Suffolk) which was begun by Martin Reed upon diseased vineyard land. It grows over centuries to "Old Vine" a hostel/inn and then to a boys' school. But it is in great flux once again now at the ending of this center portion of this House series trio.

The characters in this one are epic, IMHO
Sep 14, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love reading these typical Norah Lofts books that go through the generations. So interesting, though I must confess, fairly depressing in many of the chapters.
The coolest thing though, is that I happened to find this book at a used bookstore in Bern who had English paperbacks for 1 frank. And after a few short minutes of browsing, while my kids are waiting impatiently, I found two books by one of my favorite authors! What a great day.
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes historical fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Paperback Swap
In a trilogy that spans five centuries - beginning in the fourteenth century and concluding during the middle of the twentieth century - this is the second volume of the Suffolk House Trilogy. This is the continuing story of a town house and the various people who live there. The trilogy follows the story of Martin Reed and his descendants, men and women who found their place in the fascinating years of England's early history.

Starting in the late fifteenth century, and concluding during the tim
There seems to be much more bitterness in this volume than in the first (The Town House), which was all the sweeter for Maude Reed's Tale. However, this volume of the series was quite interesting.
I'm sure I've read this book and its companions more than once, and may yet read them again. A house, especially an English house, has many inhabitants through its useful life, and these books follow the house through several centuries. History, romance, intrigue -- these books have it all, along with Lofts' mastery of setting. Highly recommended.
Jun 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still very much enjoying this ambitious and well written historical trilogy which follows the fortunes of the inhabitants of The Old Vine. It's almost like a series of short stories - a format I'm not normally keen on - but in this case it works so well because of the ongoing links between the protagonists of each story.
Nov 07, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story covers 6 generations that all have ties to the home Old Vine. It is broken down into each persons story. I enjoyed the tales and would have rated it higher - except the ending left me dissatisfied. It was almost like the author tired of her tale and just ended the story.
May 05, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Alice
The second book of the trilogy on the town house, not so engaging as others Lofts books.
Aug 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can't put it down. So good.
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book is about: THE second of the house-trilogy, covering the 15th to the 18th century centred on a house.
I liked: it depicts real people and throughout the chapters we see what the 'beautiful young heroine' turns out to be when she becomes old and how stories around her get passed down from generation to generation. Some (for me) little known aspects of English history appear like the drying of the marshes.
I didn't like: some characters are evidently good or bad and therefore a little shallo
Marie Louise
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely story and you can't stop reading it. You feel that you have known the persons depicted in real life. Always sad when we move on to a new family story, because I can't help wondering what happened next.
Shows how well written it is. Norah Lofts is a very good author.
Kristen Smith
Lofts is an excellent writer. She handles a variety of characters believably and her execution of the historicity is masterful.
However, you'd think she was very bitter towards men and marriage and had a detestation for fat people.
Like The Townhouse, this is another distillation of life across many generations all set within the setting of Old Vine. It's depressing that not one of the relationships of these people is positive. They all end, or even begin, very badly. Mercenary. Self-preserving. I
Sharon Zink
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
An excellent historical novel, the second in a trilogy, of English medieval life, preceded by "The Town House," and followed by "The House at Sunset." The story is mostly about characters with a nod to the historical setting. It is centered on the House at Old Vine and different generations who lived there. The first time I read the trilogy was shortly after I was married forty-seven years ago.
Mar 12, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, 1500-1800, own
Found it a bit longwinded and drawn out, there was little character continuity, and I struggle to enjoy a book when there is no consistent main characters. It was however interesting to se the progression of the houseover several cenuries, but the family relations were a little confusing!
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in the Suffolk trilogy and has a darker feel than the first book. Then again the times depicted were somewhat darker so maybe its meant to mirror that. A very worthy follow on from The Townhouse and extremely enjoyable to read.
Deborah Pickstone
A re-read.

I am so interested by the very concept of this trilogy - I would like to write my own story of a house! The book/s are a good story, solidly crafted if a bit lacking in fire but the concept really grabs me.
Sarah Stuart
Aug 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another from my favourite trilogy. 1st, 2nd or 3rd? I'm not sure because it's a couple of years since I read them. I've found so many new authors since I joined Goodreads.
Julie McClelland
I love this trilogy.
Julie Hansen
Very well written--just not as good as first in series.
Oct 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
great story that makes history interesting
jean murray
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read, wonderful characters

Enjoyed enormously . read it many years ago, it still captured my imagination. Looking forward to reading The House at Sunset.
Jennifer Eisner
Loved it!!
Book two in the Norah Loft's "House trilogy." Interesting historical fiction involving all the people and events connected to an English house from it's building in the 1400's to modern times.
Oct 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this series of 3 books about a house and all the generations who live in it.
rated it it was amazing
Mar 18, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Sep 16, 2012
sheila matthews
rated it really liked it
Dec 06, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Aug 05, 2017
Carol Cotter
rated it it was amazing
Oct 30, 2015
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 15, 2015 03:58PM  
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Also published using the pseudonyms Juliet Astley and Peter Curtis

Norah Lofts, née Norah Robinson, (27 August 1904–10 September 1983) was a 20th century best-selling British author. She wrote over fifty books specialising in historical fiction, but she also wrote non-fiction and short stories. Many of her novels, including her Suffolk Trilogy, follow the history of a specific house and the residen
More about Norah Lofts...

Other Books in the Series

House (3 books)
  • The Town House (House, #1)
  • The House at Sunset (House, #3)

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