2015: Celia's House

Some people call the Rydd Water a good-size stream; others call it a small river.

Celia's House, D.E. Stevenson

I've talked before about my penchant for fluffy British novels from the 1930's and 40's, including a million written by Stevenson, and so when I saw in the Bas Bleu catalogue that some more Stevensons had been reprinted I hastened off to buy them.  And this is the first that I read and it is exactly in the same vein as her other books, and thus, I enjoyed it immensely.  

It's the story of a house, really - a big old family home in Scotland that is owned by a little old lady named Celia, who decides, on a whim in 1905, to change her will and leave it to a different nephew than the one who is expecting to inherit - the one with kids gets it, and it again becomes a family home.  And then we follow the family through to about 1943.  And there is love and loss and complications and all that jazz.  

And look, it's not literature.  The plots are particularly thin - even dim old me, who never guesses whodunnit, who re-reads P.D. James novels six years later having totally forgotten the murderer, I was able to figure out every twist as it came.  And the characters a bit loosely sketched, and the plot is less than strictly constructed. BUT, there is something to be said for comfortable cozy reads, and this is just that.  A nice family, a few love complications, a little "oh, to be in England" were enough even to make me forgive the fact that a major plot complication involves trying to make the reader feel bad that the house isn't entailed and that the son Mark won't get it, his sister will.  I mean, as an American and woman, oh boo-boo Mark.  But, nonetheless, this brief novel is a fluffy delight. 

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017