27 Mar 2012


The sixth and final read in the challenge, I thought NetherWOOD would be perfect for the 'Topography' category.


Above Stairs:
Lord Netherwood keeps his considerable fortune, and the upkeep of Netherwood Hall, ticking over with the profits from his three coal mines. The welfare of his employees isn't a pressing concern - more important is keeping his wife and daughters happy and ensuring heir to the family wealth, the charming feckless Tobias, stays out of trouble.

Below Stairs: 
Eve Williams is the wife of one of Lord Netherwood's employees. When her life is brought crashing down, Eve must look to her own self-sufficiency and talent to provide for her three young children. And it's then that the 'upstairs' and 'downstairs' collide in truly dramatic fashion.
........ Outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): It was morning but the bedroom was still as black as pitch when Eve Williams opened her eyes.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 100): Somewhere in the town a housewife had begun to strike a poker against the grate of her fire and the sound, carrying easily through the walls of the terraced houses, had been heard and replicated by her neighbours, and hers, and again hers, until it seemed that hundreds of pokers were striking hundreds of iron grates, to relay the news more effectively than any telegraph that ..........

KEEP IT OR NOT?: My favourite read of 2012 so far, I'll be keeping this and buying the second instalment which is to be published in September of this year.

Recommended by Dizzy C (see her review HERE) not only was this a perfect choice for this particular challenge but given Husband Dearest's connection with mining I thought I'd enjoy this read on a very personal level.

A debut novel that was based on the author's own background, I thought this a very honest novel...... the miners 'story' perhaps ringing more true to my ears than Eve's story. 

Well plotted and with a tremendous wealth of characters, it dealt with some of the important social and political aspects of the time - not least of which being the divide between rich and poor and the fight for recognition by the trade unions. 

Wonderfully descriptive, the author does indeed paint a graphic picture of life for both for the gentry as well as the 'common man' - her mention of the formal luncheon given for heir to the estate, Toby's (Tobias) coming of age will long remain in my memory as to how the various classes were kept at a distance ..... 

The squirearchy and gentleman farmers, for example, must not be expected to dine and drink with the professional classes, who in turn must be separate from the upper echelons of the estate workers who themselves might take offence at being seated among the miners.

Brilliantly written, you can feel the passion the author has for her characters, I'm so looking forward to the next book to see how they develop.


Dizzy C said...

I felt sure you would enjoy this one :)

On my list for Top reads 2012, too

carol x

Mary (Bookfan) said...

It does sound good and if it's one of your favorites of the year so far it's going on my TBR list. Great review!

Betty Manousos@ CUT and DRY said...

i'm glad that you're enjoying the book.

sounds like a great read.

i thoroughly enjoyed your wonderful review!

big hugs my dearest!


naida said...

Glad you enjoyed it do much, that's awesome. It does sound like a good read.

Kelly said...

This does sound interesting and I really like the "memorable moment" you shared.

I'll be reviewing my best read of 2012 (so far) next week.

GMR said...

How curious...wouldn't have guessed at the story from the cover. Thanks for sharing this one!

Suko said...

Wonderful review, Petty! I will keep an eye out for this book, which does sound brilliant.

Mama Zen said...

This sounds excellent. I love this time period, so I'll be checking this one out for sure.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I have to admit, the cover doesn't thrill me, but your review has me curious about the book. I love a book that you can see the world so easily. I'll have to check this one out.

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

So glad to see you enjoyed this one! :D Thanks for the wonderful review.

Mamakucingbooks said...

Hi again, Petty :)

This sounds like a very good book. The type that i like.

am now readi Jodi Pcoult's Sing You Home. Getting quite frustrated



Deepali said...

WOw, thats a big endorsement, coming from you. Off I goes to update my TBR list! :)

What was the luncheon described as? How did they keep the classes separate?

-Dee from e-Volving Books

carol said...

Wow, your favorite so far this year, huh? Must be good. And I love that "memorable moment."

....Petty Witter said...

Deepali or anyone else who might be interested. RE: my review of Netherwood. I didn't want to mention any more than I did in the post for fear of giving away too much of the story line. If you wish to discuss the book with me then I'd be quite happy to answer your questions via e-mail ...... my address can be found on the Review Policy page on my blog.