Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Dorothy Whipple and Carola Dunn...........

Two authors recently read and very far apart in terms of content. If I had to write a exam answer and contrast there would be no comparison!

 Dorothy Whipple wrote Greenbanks in 1932 and it was reprinted by Persephone Books in 2011. It is the second of nine novels that were all well received at the time..................Greenbanks was chosen as The Book Society Choice for that summer. Although written in 1932 it is set in the years before, during and after the Great War.
Novelist Hugh Walpole wrote about Greenbanks at length in The Book Society Magazine.

‘To put it plainly, in Dorothy Whipple's picture of a quite ordinary family before and after the war there is some of the best creation of living men and women that we have had for a number of years in the English novel. She is a novelist of true importance.' He went on: ‘I believe Greenbanks will be remembered for a long time to come because of the characters of two people in it, the grandmother Louisa and the granddaughter Rachel. In them Dorothy Whipple has performed splendidly the great job of the novelist, which is to increase for us infinitely the population of the living world. Every character in this quiet book is alive. Louisa is an old woman rather muddle-headed, generous, sometimes irresponsible, always governed by the emotions of a loving, anxious heart, which is at the same time never sentimental, who has become as real to me as any of the ladies in Cranford. Rachel is alive from the first instant. She, perhaps, is more of an achievement than Louisa, for kindly dear old women are frequently successful in novels, but a child who is real and charming and quite natural, moving through those difficult years from 10 to 18, cannot be easy to create. This is a quiet and a true book. It is also a beautiful book.

The book starts "The house was called Greenbanks,but there was no green to be seen today; all the garden was deep in snow"
It is Christmas day in Edwardian England and 19 people had gathered round the expanded table 
 "The leaves which had been taken out one by one as the family diminished were all put back today to accommodate the returned Ashtons and the husbands, wives and children"

The main characters in the story are Louisa and her granddaughter Rachel who is 4 years old at the beginning and at University at the end. It is a story of a daughter stuck in an unhappy marriage, a favourite son sent off to Africa by his jealous brother, a "companion" whose life was changed years before and other family members.
It shows how attitudes changed due to the First World War and the difference in ideas of what was "proper" between generations.
A good story which I enjoyed immensely and I'll have a look to see which of her other books are in the library stock.


Carola Dunn's new book is "The  Corpse at the Crystal Palace" and is also set in the 1920's but that is the only similarity. This is the 23rd in a series featuring Daisy Dalrymple and her husband, Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard. These are light crime set among the rich and titled with Nannies, Butlers and Chauffeurs.
It is 1928 and Daisy takes her young cousins, step-daughter Belinda, her twins and their nannies to visit the Crystal Palace, but when Nanny Gilpin doesn't return from the Ladies room things start to be very strange. There's a dead  man dressed as a Nanny in the conveniences (The first public Ladies Convenience in London) and Nanny Gilpin is in a pond and can't remember what happened.
The first book in this long series is Death at Wentwater Court which introduces the main characters.
A light quick read but historically correct.

Thank you for comments yesterday.
(Painting of big back bedroom has begun. A commentary on progress may ensue!)

Back Tomorrow


  1. Interesting to read thank you, especially for the review of Greenbanks, I will get on to reading this now that I know it is good! Thanks Sue!

  2. I've not met either but will look out for Greenbanks. Thanks.

  3. I have read something else by Dorothy Whipple, but not Greenbanks - I will put this on my Christmas list (I start planning early) so thanks for the review. I love Carola Dunn's novels, they are light but well-written, and as you say, historically accurate.

    1. Greenbanks was my first DW but I've read loads of Carola Dunn, she churns them out at two a year I think!

  4. Thanks for the reviews. Best of luck with the back bedroom. Look forward to reading about your progress.

  5. Good luck with the decorating! I hate doing it. I've seen the Carola Dunn books around but have never read one. They sound really interesting.

    1. Ceiling done, walls are ready and waiting for next week

  6. Good luck with the painting. The Dorothy Whipple books sounds very interesting but sadly not available in my library system.

  7. I managed to track down a cheap copy of the Dorothy Whipple, but it wasn't easy. I hope the painting is going well. It has been a bit on the warm side for that type of work today, I was definitely "glowing" when I did the mowing!

    1. No painting today, swimming and grass cutting - but I was on the ride on mower so didn't get hot. I'm waiting for the shower to be taken out of the bedroom before I do any more

    2. I read that as "...waiting for the MOWER to be taken out of the bedroom"!!!!!!
      I'm glad it didn't come to that!

  8. I've been busy recently, as among other things have been hospital visiting (52 year old son-in-law has had a stroke - doing quite well now - recently transferred to the Rehab unit), so have not been reading blogs.
    Well, I've just had a lovely catch-up Sue, so have enjoyed getting back in touch with what you're up to - thank you, always interesting!

  9. Very different novels indeed. I guess the only comparison would be that they are set in England.

    Love your book reviews.

    God bless.


  10. شركة المثالية للتنظيف

    شركة المثالية توفر علي ربة المنزل عناء التنظيف، والمواظبة علية بإستمرار، خصوصا وأن ربة المنزل الآن يكون عليها مهام كثيرة شاقة ولا يكون لديها مساحة من الوقت للقيام بمهام التنظيف، وليس فقط التنظيف هي من مهام الشركة بل أن الشركة أيضاً تُقدم مجموعة مُختلفة من الخدمات الأخرى التي تخدم راحة عُملائها، بالإضافة إلي تقديم مُستوي عالي من الكفاءة في تنفيذ الخدمة. خدمات شركة المثالية: ولأن شركة المثالية تقوم علي راحة عُملائها في تقوم بتوفر مجموعة مُختلفة من الخدمات مثل: • تنظيف الستائر. • تنظيف المفروشات. • تنظيف السجاد والموكيت. • تنظيف الكنب. • تنظيف المجالس. • مُكافحة الحشرات. • رش مُبيدات. • تسليك مجاري. حيثُ أن لدينا مجموعة من أكفأ العمُال والأيدي العاملة، بالإضافة إلي اننا يوجد ليدنا أحدث أنواع الأجهزة والماكينات التي تُساعدنا في عملنا، بالإضافة إلي أن المساحيق المُستخدمة في عمليات التنظيف نقوم بإستيرادها من الخارج، وهي مُصرحة من وزارة الصحة ولا ضرر عليها. كما أن شركة المثالية تستقبل تليفونات عُملائها علي المدار اليوم لإستقبال طباتهم وإستفسارتهم بإستمرار. عزيزي العميل نُحاول أن نوفر لك جميع ما تحتاج إلية، علاوة علي ان أسعارنا لا تقبل المُنافسة.