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Haunting of Gad's > Gad's Hall

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Gad's Hall - page 56

"I'm inclined to think in generalities. Actually what is called the permissive society, wife-swapping, divorces as plentiful as hot dinners, had never appealed to me; too much squalot about it, too many children either completely abandoned or subject to what the papers playfully called the tug-of-love. In a truly civilised society, I thought, with all the taboos, new and old, done away with, George Thorley and I could have bedded together, with no hurt either to Bob or Kitty, and I'd have given him the son he wanted.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Gad's Hall - page 57

I love to read this about october in England!

"That afternoon, late in October, I went up and down with apples, thinking my own thoughts, minding my own business; making sure for instance that no stored apple touched another. Tony was in the kitchen, engrosesed with a new toy. I'd got a good filling dish of mutton and haricot beans simmering away at the back of the oven, awaiting John and Terry, Bob, and George if he chose to stay. On another shelf in the oven I had some of those potatoes, baking in their jackets.

skipping over next paragraph about she and George avoiding looking at each other....

So what hit me as I closed the apple room and stood for a moment to ease my aching back? For one thing, utter despair. I knew that Bob would come home with the news that his invention, still under consideration, had been forestalled; I knew that I was heading for a breakdown; mentally I should go silly and od something daft; and physically my back would so cripple me that I could neither harvest what remained nor sow for next year. I thought: I have done my best and it wasn't good enough. Because from the beginning everything had been against me - against everybody. Better, I thought never to have been born to than this; brought out of nothingness, to labour and strive and back into nothingness again; a bit of fungus on the surface of a dying star.....

What causes the despair????


message 3: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 1905 comments


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Page 59 - "I had experienced despair; and there was a time when despair - monks called it accidie - was regarded as the ultimate sin, a sin against the Holy Ghost, that indefinable member of the Holy Trinity. Keep the ten commandments and you were all right with God the Father; observe the clauses of the Sermon on the Mount and in addition love thy neighbor and you should be all right with God the Son; but God the Holy Ghost wsa less easily pacified and because His claims were so very tenuous they must be all themore strictly enforced and reached out not to what people did, or how they behaved , but to how people thought, how they felt; and over such things who has eve had the slightest control? A thought once thought is thought, by no volition of the thinker; a feeling once felt can never be retracted.

I had felt despair, and should never forget it. Ignore it? I could try. What I could not avoid was wondering why. What had happened here? Once upon a time.....




message 5: by Djo (new)

Djo | 28 comments I'm going from memory here. I think Bob Spender was an unlucky man. He worked hard, but didn't get the promotion he wanted. He took a chance and left his job (in an age when men had a job for life, and didn't change them, just crawled up that career ladder if they were lucky) for a new chance on a faraway foreign island. Unfortunately there was revolution and during the rather quick evacuation of the foreign workers he suffered a stroke (is that right?).

Poor man then ends up with his family back at his mother's place. She is very nice and well meaning, but she is also a bit of an old-fashioned tartar. To me, she comes over as the sort that if you mess with her flower arrangement, she will slice your fingers off with some antique bone china.

Bob has struggled to regain what he can physically, and luckily he never lost it mentally. All he needs is understanding, support and patience. He gets an abundance of that from George Thorley, who encourages him to do what he does best - design engineering.

George is a bit of a sweetie. He's married to a middle-class snob (the worst kind!), but he is a natural gentleman which just emphasizes her lack of class! He has fallen in love with Bob's wife Jill, but he is man enough to do nothing about it. If he hadn't looked at Jill in that certain way (that makes women go all unnecessary and blush a lot) over the seed potatoes, she would never have known.

Ah, that was a lovely moment - I wanted them to fall down and make mad passionate love among the seed potatoes, but I was also glad that they managed to resist. I'm sure they both had heaving bosoms for a while. Sorry, I'm getting flippant. Bless NL, the book is a little dated, but that doesn't detract from the story. I am glad they could respect their marriage vows - at least they have a fine, strong friendship which is a gift to cherish. A moments dalliance is certainly wonderful, but it leaves a tarnish of so much that is to come. Regret and repentance never buy back the weakness.

I always wondered as I read the Gad books whether Bob knew or not. I bet he did, but he was man enough not to interfere. Now that is something, to be able to trust a tempted wife to resist temptation. Marriages nowadays often break at this hurdle.

On balance I think Bob is a man with a desperate fight on his hands that he is slowly winning. He is slowly regaining his strength and mobility. Unfortunately in the age he lives, he needs to be the breadwinner to be able to regain his dignity and self-respect. I think he comes over as a lesser man because of the era he lived in. By the end of the book I got the impression that he would eventually regain the majority of his abilities (and be able to give his wife a good seeing to) and be a successful designer.

I think I better stop now. My post is a little tongue in cheek. Just put it down to my quirky English humour. Being English also accounts for my funny spelling (if you are American!)


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Part Two - Gad's Hall - "When in late summer 1841, George Thorley remarried, his fiends - of whom he had many, being a genial and hospitable man - were delighted. A man still in his prime needed a wife, Gad's needed a mistress, the two little girls were growing up wild. Also, considering that there had been a Thorley at Gad's Hall since time immemorial, George needed a son.
There was a little regret that he had chosen a foreigner. For Suffolk men foreigners began at the Norfolk border and the scond Mrs Thorley came from Leicester. A few young women, and their fathers, a decent widow or two were disappointed, but George Thorley had always been a bit of a gadabout. He bred pedigree cattle, Durham shorthorns, and was forever going to shows and sales. He'd go to Leicester, Colchester, even London almost as casually as his friends wen to a local market.
The wedding took place in Leicester and was very quiet.

page 64
Her older daughter was 9, her young seven and a half. Their name was Osborne. Diana Osborne. Lavinia Osborne. The Thorley girls, with their more homely names, Deborah and Caroline fitted in between.

Which girl is your favorite??????
Mine is Deborah.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Djo wrote: "I'm going from memory here. I think Bob Spender was an unlucky man. He worked hard, but didn't get the promotion he wanted. He took a chance and left his job (in an age when men had a job for li..."

Love your great description of Bob's mother, how accurate!




message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Is everyone ready to start discussing The Haunting of Gad's Hall? Please post how far along you are on the book?

I have read it several times in the past but of course need memory refreshers.
Barbara, were you able to find a copy ok?
I think you said yours was called by another name?


message 9: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 1905 comments


message 10: by Cassie (new)

Cassie (cassiepetty) | 173 comments I think that you have done a great job with background Alice.

Does anyone have any questions about anything in Gad's? I haven't started Haunting yet. I should finish A Wayside Tavern today and then get right into Haunting.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Well, I didn't get as far as I had hoped but thanks. I am still thinking about the daughter named Deborah, the one who was good with horses. I cannot even think of her sister's name at this point so need to read again.


message 12: by Cassie (last edited Feb 01, 2009 05:52PM) (new)

Cassie (cassiepetty) | 173 comments Deborah, Caroline, Diana, and Lavinia are the sisters.

Deborah married Tim Bridges, a horse breeder/dealer from a neighboring region.

Caroline married Doctor Edward Taylor. She had been in love with Freddy Ingram but he married her best friend Susan.

Diana married Everard Spicer, an attorney.

Lavinia died in the previous book. She killed herself and her child.


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh, had forgotten that Lavinia killed herself. I did remember she killed the baby.

I hated Tim Bridges....not Burgess. I was just searching for the names so thanks for posting them here. I always want to spell Lavinia's name wrong. I always think that Deborah might have been a little like Norah Lofts since she had to run away from the overbearing fanatic Tim Bridges and could not work with her first love which was horses but had to write. Didn't she write a novel or short story that someone sold for her in London?


message 14: by Cassie (new)

Cassie (cassiepetty) | 173 comments Oh no Barbara!! I'm so sorry! That stinks. I hope it doesn't blister. My mom just bought some burn gel from the pharmacy for her finger and it turned out to be nothing more than lidocaine in gel form. Not sure how much it helped her.


ღ Carol jinx~☆~☔ | 11 comments I've finished it. What do you think Caroline gave Ruth to abort her baby and then the same thing was given to Di later?


ღ Carol jinx~☆~☔ | 11 comments Alice wrote: "Part Two - Gad's Hall - "When in late summer 1841, George Thorley remarried, his fiends - of whom he had many, being a genial and hospitable man - were delighted. A man still in his prime needed a..."

My favorite is Deborah. She is like Jane Austens characters. She has spunk! She doesn't say Poor Me but goes ahead and finds a way to support herself and Sam. I have great admiration for her.



message 17: by Cassie (new)

Cassie (cassiepetty) | 173 comments Carol wrote: "I've finished it. What do you think Caroline gave Ruth to abort her baby and then the same thing was given to Di later?"

AAAAAHHHHH! A Spoiler!! It's ok, I won't tell myself!


message 18: by Barbara (last edited Feb 03, 2009 07:28PM) (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 1905 comments Just got a ( library) copy of Gad’s Hall and can belatedly join in. To my great pleasure and surprise , I find I have never read it before, what bliss!
It seems to me that Gad’s Hall brings together many themes from earlier books. Mrs Thorley’s first, ne’er do do well gambling husband, is reminiscent of Barney Hatton’s father at Mortiboys , there are people returned from India, as in the later chapters of Bless This House. Lavinia’s ‘dabbling in the black arts’ as Damask does in The Devil In Cleveley, Mr Bridges and his throughbred horses , just like Tom Thoroughgood and his in more than one book, and of course, the visiting Dutchman and his terrifying gift with the cards, like the slave girl and her crystal ball in How Far To Bethlehem.
Most of all, the house itself, the secret of which I don’t yet know, having only got as far as Deborah’s gift of the mare from Bridges.................
I've just inadvertently seen things on other peoples posts that I didn't know about yet- so I will have to go back to the book and catch up. In fact I only just stopped reading in order to post this.
And to think I thought I had read it and not really liked it !



message 19: by Cassie (new)

Cassie (cassiepetty) | 173 comments I'm going to close this discussion topic, hope no one minds. I thought we could move the conversation over to the "Getting Started" thread.


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