12 Aug 2014



SOURCE: Bought with a book voucher.

THE BOOK {According to the back cover}: Cider with Rosie is a wonderfully vivid memoir of childhood in a remote Cotswold village, a village before electricity or cars, a timeless place on the verge of change. Growing up amongst the fields and woods and characters of the place, Laurie Lee depicts a world that is both immediate and real and belongs to a now-distant past.

FIRST SENTENCE {First Light}: I was set down from the carrier's cart at the age of three, and there with a sense of bewilderment and terror my life in the village began.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 80}: When I finally became King (I used to think) I would command a parade of grandmas, and drill them, and march them up and down - rank upon rank of hobbling boots, nodding bonnets, flying shawls, and furious chewing faces.

MY THOUGHTS: At last a 'classic' that I did quite enjoy. I say quite enjoy as I'm afraid the somewhat relaxed descriptions of incest and under-age sex (albeit seemingly consenting unlike later events) though told in a very matter of fact and hardly what you'd call explicit didn't sit well with me.

A memoir, the first in a trilogy, of Cotswold village life at the end of World War II, a life that as the author explains ended alongside his childhood with the advent of motor vehicles clanking down the rural lanes. Cider With Rosie is very much a coming of a age story, a series of 'themed' recollections which covers all aspects of Lee's life from schooling, family and celebrations.

A nostalgic read which despite the water-logged cottage walls, almost constant hunger, and deaths/murder/suicide is told with such fondness as to make it sound idyllic, I was drawn into the lives of these people in a way I never expected.  


Kelly said...

I love the bright, colorful cover on this book.

I'm not sure it's one for my wish list, but if placed in my hands, I feel sure I would enjoy it. Good review!

Literary Feline said...

Just the word "incest" makes me cringe. This sounds like an interesting book though, and I am glad you liked it, Tracy.

Camila Rafaela Felippi said...

A village before electricity or cars, for my grandgrandfather was the reality! Books like this, classic, always remember us a past someone lived and we can't imagine without read!

Suko said...

Tracy, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am not sure how I'd fare with some of the things you mentioned, although it sounds like you enjoyed the book. The cover is very lovely.

Lindsay said...

This is a classic that I've always meant to try but haven't yet got around to. I'm glad you liked it, I didn't know it had some of those things in it actually! Thanks for reviewing it.

Brian Joseph said...

Great commentary on this one Tracy.

I think that some of the best books can show the darker wide of life and well as life's beauty simultaneously.

I had not heard much about Laurie Lee before but I want to read him now.

Yanting Gueh said...

From the lines you shared, this one sounds good, too. The writing style ("A parade of grandmas" eh ...), the setting, and the story-type are all captivating.

Charlie (The Worm Hole) said...

I saw parts of the old film version but have never read it. The cover is very appealing but I'm surprised to hear about the sex as I thought it was a more 'innocent' story.

DMS said...

I love the cover! It's always amazing when characters touch us in ways we don't expect. Thanks for sharing!

The Bookworm said...

I like the cover, but the whole incest and under-age sex theme is not one I'd like to read about.