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Cider with Rosie: A Memoir (The Autobiographical Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition
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From the Inside Flap
- ASIN : B00KGMIY78
- Publisher : Open Road Media; New Ed edition (June 10, 2014)
- Publication date : June 10, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 1915 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 227 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #223,959 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Of course, I had to remedy this oversight, so one-click order I did and was soon settled into a memoir of one of England’s beloved sons I hadn’t even known existed. But after the first chapter, I admit I didn’t know if it was love or hate.
Three-year-old Laurie sits on the floor of his new home amidst the chaos of moving a family of seven into a new cottage in the village of Slad. Little Laurie was surrounded by “glass fishes, china dogs, shepherds and shepherdesses, bronze horsemen, stopped clocks, barometers, and photographs of bearded men”. His sisters and mother bustle in and out of the house; his brothers help unload the handcart. Lee’s prose was over-rich, I thought—awash in adjectives and adverbs; drowning in lists. I almost put the memoir aside.
But after another chapter, Lee grew on me. His rich narrative seemed to mirror the lush countryside and the hub-bub that was his home. I settled into those lists and that descriptive prose. Like this: “That kitchen, worn by our boots and lives, was scruffy, warm, and low, whose fuss of furniture seemed never the same but was shuffled each day” and this: “These were the … rocks of our submarine life, each object worn smooth by our constant nuzzling, or encrusted by lively barnacles, relics of birthdays and dead relations, wrecks of furniture long since foundered …” It’s definitely not my style and not what I’d usually choose, but I’m happy I did.
Cider With Rosie let me peek into a world that no longer exists—grannies who lived as neighbors for decades, yet
Rosebank Cottage, Slad
Rosebank Cottage, Slad
never spoke; sisters who decorated their hats with bits and bobs; a picnic caravanned to a just perfect spot in the woods; a school teacher quick to smack boys upside the head; sleeping five to a room in quilt-deep beds; a bottle of shared cider and a stolen kiss under a field wagon.
Lee went on to write two more memoirs of his life and a few books of poetry. I was able to find a wonderful interview with Lee on the BBC—his recollections follow the book closely—which makes a great companion listen.
Cider With Rosie should probably be read when the time is just right, like a hazy summer afternoon or a blustery winter night … or anytime, really, when the edges of the world outside become blurred and you could oh-so-easily fade into the English countryside.
[read more at thisismysymphony.net]
“It was soon after this that my sister Frances died. She was a beautiful, fragile, dark-curled child, and my Morher’s only daughter. Though only four, she used to watch me like a nurse, sitting all day beside my cot and talking softly in a special language. Nobody noticed that she was dying herself, they were too much concerned with me. She died suddenly, silently, without complaint, in a chair in the corner of the room. An ignorant death which need never have happened – and I believe that she gave me her life.”
I loved the scenes at the village school. The country festivals. The story of all his uncles. Cider with Rosie under the wagon. Most of all I hated the father and wanted terrible things to happen to him for abandoning his family, and yet the mother’s reaction to his death and the horrible realization that her fantasies that he'd return and they’d spend their final days together were finally and forever torn asunder…well, I just wanted to fold her up in my arms and let her mourn all her dashed dreams.
I’ve read a number of very fine books this year, and this is one of the best.
Top reviews from other countries
At times this book is an orgy of lyrical and poetic description almost reminiscent of Dylan Thomas, at others he offers a matter of fact discourse complete with the vernacular and dialect of the day. He tells of the poverty of life offset by a richness of village experience dating back thousands of years; a time of innocence and unbridled mischief for the children who ran wild and were sometimes so cruel. It is a personal account of a time long before mass communication and easy travel when people made their own entertainment and expectations were lower; and lastly, it was a time of nostalgia. School comprehension exercises put me off this book early on but I am so pleased to have rediscovered it in middle age.
It’s a kaleidoscope of village life; the changing seasons, his family, the fascination and acceptance of death, and the close, always powerful proximity of nature. It even had me think about my grandparents and wonder at the relationship ties and those of love which bind us and remain the same throughout generations, regardless of circumstance and time. How the perception of events we remember from childhood depends on a multitude of factors, but are instantly recognisable in others. Lush prose and full of character, Cider with Rosie is an intense, vivid glimpse into a slice of timeless village life. Sometimes funny, insightful, or sad, but never seen through rose-tinted spectacles or dressed in sentimentality.
This book does not follow a strict chronological order, as Lee instead uses different chapters to bring to life different elements, such as school and becoming interested in girls, and the family dynamics of the situation that his immediate family were in, with a mother but no father, and a number of siblings. Admittedly this does at times make for a slightly uncomfortable read as we hear tell of what a group of boys (including the author) were going to do to a girl. But fortunately, this doesn’t come off, and it has to be admitted that the girl gets the better of the situation.
I grew up in London, but fortunately we lived more or less next door to a park, so I did have greenery and a place to run in and let my hair down, but for many people who read this they would have been born right in a concrete jungle, but even decades later after this was written, I can remember living mainly in a kitchen as we had the oven to keep us warm, and then in the evening, when everyone was home moving into the living room, where we had a gas fire. Something like this, which wasn’t uncommon for many generations does give many of us a feeling of continuity and a greater appreciation of this book, and we have heard from family members ourselves about the gradual rise of motor cars and so on.
Beautifully written and full of incident, if this is the first time you are going to read this you will not be disappointed, and like so many of us you will come back to this time and time again. Also, along with the story are some nice little illustrations.
This book is quite a gentle read that had me meandering through the Cotswalds and the Gloustershire countryside. The story had a lot of lovely descriptions and metaphors that helped bring the landscape and the authors memories to life.
The book is told from the perspective of the author, Laurie Lee, and brings a great sense of nostalgia to a time gone by. The writing is rather poetic, although in parts it feels it had been written by him when a little younger.
The book is also not written in chronological order, which made me loose track a bit as it jumps around from one year or one event to the next. Additionally, I found some of the chapters were better than others. On another note, I really liked the book cover.
Overall this was a gentle read which had me travelling to the Costwalds through the pages.