The New House

The New House All that outwardly happens in The New House writes Jilly Cooper is over one long day a family moves from a large imposing secluded house with beautiful gardens to a small one overlooking a housing e

  • Title: The New House
  • Author: Lettice Cooper
  • ISBN: 9780860688808
  • Page: 273
  • Format: Paperback
  • All that outwardly happens in The New House, writes Jilly Cooper, is over one long day a family moves from a large imposing secluded house with beautiful gardens to a small one overlooking a housing estate But all the characters and their relationships with each other are so lovingly portrayed that one cares passionately what happens even to the unpleasant ones The N All that outwardly happens in The New House, writes Jilly Cooper, is over one long day a family moves from a large imposing secluded house with beautiful gardens to a small one overlooking a housing estate But all the characters and their relationships with each other are so lovingly portrayed that one cares passionately what happens even to the unpleasant ones The New House, first published in 1936, reminds me of my favourite author Chekhov, who so influenced Lettice s generation of writers Like him, she had perfect social pitch and could draw an arriviste developer as convincingly as a steely Southern social butterfly It is tempting to describe Rhoda Powell, the 30 plus, stay at home daughter of a widowed mother, as Brookneresque, wrote the reviewer in the Guardian, even though Lettice Cooper wrote this wonderfully understated novel several decades before Anita Brookner mapped the defining features of quietly unhappy middle class women While Kate Chisholm in The Spectator described Lettice Cooper as an intensely domestic novelist, unraveling in minute detail the tight web of family relations but one who is also acutely aware of what goes on beyond the garden gate The expos of a family under strain because of changing times is curiously vivid and real than in many novels about family life written today.

    One thought on “The New House”

    1. 4,5 stars rounded upSplit into three sections; morning, afternoon and evening, this is a novel set in one day. The premise is very simple; it concerns a family moving house from a large imposing house with gardens (not quite a stately home, but quite big), to something much smaller overlooking a housing estate. It is an enforced move as the old house is too large and expensive to be managed. Lettice Cooper lived a long life which might seem unremarkable to some. As well as being a writer and pen [...]

    2. The New House takes place over one very long day that sees the “removal” of Natalie Powell and her adult daughter Rhoda from their large family home to a much smaller house on the other side of the town. The old house is to be demolished to make way for newer more modest housing for working class families. Rhoda’s sister Delia has arrived from London to help, and with her she brings the wind of change. The social order is a central theme to this wonderful novel. Natalie Powell has been a s [...]

    3. Written in 1934 and set in those days, this story revolves around a family who faces "removal" to a new home due to the death of the father and more limited resources. Its' 319 pages cleverly consists of three parts: Morning, Noon and Night.What might be utterly boring becomes insightful gleanings from each family member as their thoughts and conversations meander between the present day and past ones. We are given glimpses into the inner workings of their personalities and are either charmed by [...]

    4. Stop everything you are doing and go read this book. I mean it. I really, really, mean it.This is the kind of novel that you don't want to end. The kind that you are thrilled is long (a rare, rare thing for me) because the world Ms. Cooper invites you into is so real and so flawed and so very bittersweet. She is kind to her characters, warts and all and nobody is painted as 100% virtuous or a villain, they are all nuanced. You see yourself in them; you see the good, the bad and the sheer humanit [...]

    5. Widowed Natalie Powell and her 32-year-old unmarried daughter Rhoda are having to leave the big old house where the family has lived for many years, to move somewhere smaller and cheaper. All the action of this book takes place in one day in their northern English town in the 1930s, as they move, helped by Natalie's son Maurice and his wife, a second daughter Delia and her fiancé, and Natalie's sister, Aunt Ellen. I loved this and thought it was wonderfully well written. All the strains and jea [...]

    6. Fashion must have dictated the placement of “The End” after the last sentence of this novel. The last sentence marks the end of the day, certainly, but that one day has made a difference in the lives of most of the characters, more difference than just moving from the old house to the new. The next morning will probably see them making or refusing the same choices as before, but they will have a sense of new beginning. First published in 1936, the novel raises questions about social injustic [...]

    7. The New House examines one day in the life of a family: sister Rhoda and mother Natalie are moving out of the old family home to a smaller house, while younger sister Delia looks forward to marriage and helping her husband with his work and brother Maurice tries not to think about his fragile, shallow marriage. The differences (and similarities) in the women's lives are especially finely observed, as Rhoda tries to decide whether to break out of her old life by taking over the job Delia will hav [...]

    8. One of those Single Day books, divided into Morning, Afternoon, and Night. Cooper shows the inner lives of an extended family as two of its members (plus maid) move to a new house. Although some of the socialist thoughts seem sadly quaint now, I marked many other passages for their universal truths. It's impossible not to root for Rhoda.

    9. Loved every character in this book - wish I could know much more about them. There were so many quotable lines that would be perfectly applicable to today. I love how even the "selfish" mother had a soft spot occasionally and some remorse looking back and that the unmarried daughter was able to be strong and look forward to moving on with her life. A book to reread for sure.

    10. I loved this. Published in 1936 but so clever. the story of a family leaving a house told over one day. But it is so much more than that - each character is drawn out so well, I loved the writing and the honesty of the characters. thanks Persephone for publishing these books.

    11. I enjoyed 'The New House' though it was not the novel I had in mind before reading. This may be my own muddle and misinterpretation, based on looking at Persephone book descriptions and dithering over choices. I had thought this book would be a comedy, in a similar vein to 'Cheerful Weather for the Wedding' by Julia Strachey, a book I enjoyed very much. So, when reading 'The New House' and finding myself within a fraught family of timely changes and politics, I realised I was in the wrong, er, r [...]

    12. Really liked this actually. I knew I would enjoy it because Persephone Books are surefire trashy comfort reads for me, as romance novels are for other people. But it makes better literature than I expected. I liked the observation about people and human nature, and the close attention given to each change of mood in a person, leading them to snap or be kind, almost unconsciously. Also interested in how little your average privileged upper middle-class mindset varies across time and space.Terribl [...]

    13. OK I am biased when it comes to Persphone Books. I did enjoy this. I thought it was going to be a tad out dated but it was not, it was still very modern, surprisingly so actually. I kept thinking I wish I'd had this book when I was in my 20 - 30s. It is still very insightful, still has a social conscious and is a pleasure to read.Toast

    14. I checked this book out of the library, and when I finished it, I ordered a copy of my own. Several times while reading it I thought "how many ideas and personalities and quotable lines can be packed into one small stack of pages?" And yet I know that a book about a household moving from one place to another would leave many people cold. But - I loved this book.

    15. I think I shall have to re-read this book. I feel as though I had been eating a humdrum meal and was then denied dessert. I was unable to feel empathy for any of the characters. I shall try it again in a month or two.

    16. If I ever compile one of those fantasy dinner party guest lists (i.e include anyone you like, living or dead), Lettice Cooper will be on it.

    17. Lovely book. I kept "seeing" my aunts (who were they still alive, would be over 100 years old ) and about their relationship with my grand mother. It was like a trip in the past

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