Free eBook The House at SunsetAuthor Norah Lofts –

The third of the Suffolk trilogy and every bit as good as the others I was dreading coming to the end but all is resolved in a most satisfactory manner I might have known Norah Lofts wouldn t let me down I only wish someone would write a history of the house from the 1950 s where this one ends to the present day. Excellent The last in The Suffolk Trilogy, by Norah Lofts Not what I had expected, but still excellent in a different way I m glad I m now aquatinted with Ms Lofts writing Spanning A Period From The Eighteenth Century To The Mid S, This Is The Impressive Concluding Volume In Norah Lofts House Trilogy A Period In History Is Brought Alive Through The Perspectives Of Seven Characters Who Tell The Story Felicity Hatton S Life In S London And Mary Crisp S Experience Of The First World War Are Two Of The Tales The final book in the House trilogy, this one abandoned the genealogical thread of the first two after its opening stories The focus now is only on the house and the stories of the unrelated people who lived and worked there from the 1800s to mid 1950s As a result, I think, I was better able to recognize the metaphorical dimensions of all three books This was an enjoyable reading experience The trilogy provided an informative, easy to digest history of England from the 14th to mid 20th centuries it offered realistic, engaging characters it reflected the memes that animated the British culture in each era it provoked through its depiction of the variety of ways that people succumb to or take direction of their destinies and the often unintended consequences of both approaches. This is the remarkable end of a tremendous trilogy and possibly the best of the three The books tell the story of a house from the middle ages to the 1950s and how it changed and the people who lived in it This book takes us from Georgian England to post war austerity The residents include the good, the bad and the ugly and one hopes the old vine survived 1960s destructive planning. I hope I live long enough to forget this trilogy so I can read it all over again and enjoy it a second time. This is the third book of the Suffolk House series In this succession of stories of those who lived in Old Vine from the 14th to the 20th centuries there is no repetition Every story is unique Each character is unique The settling and history uniquely fits the time of each story I suspect this series has a touch of genius about it That is what kept me reading The series probably deserves 5 stars but subjectively I m rating it 3 I didn t love it The stories were just ok. I ve given this four stars although I didn t enjoy it quite a much as the first two in the series Perhaps because the house is losing it s character now and the stories are modern and less connected to each other However it s still a very well written book, with engaging characters and compelling little tales of human trials and tribulations. The final book of the trio, House at Sunset is my least favorite of the three for this Old Vine building BUT it is still 3.5 star and I rounded it up for the skill in which Norah Lofts changes the narrators sensibilities as the centuries turn The 18th century, it still has far thought hours concerned with food shelter basic work, than it does with what we would call First World Problems of today anxiety, depression, desires unfulfilled, education or fame as a goal all those kinds of problems Before this, the class status fixed for the majority of work purpose to eat and sleep, that was always number 1 coupled with manipulative power of influence to control those first two essentials food and shelter NOW not at all Beginning in the 1800 s and definitely in the latter parts of that century, food availability seems a given Even if you DO have to steal it Regardless, it is THERE And that exact difference is what Lofts grabs in this last novel of the trio But it is my least favorite because it is so sad Sad, not only in decline of the building, but also in its division and in the entire comprehension of what it means to its occupants Until this last 150 years this ends just after WWII of the saga there is always some human who seems to hold OLD VINE house as his her core Not now Not even the inspector from the Baildon s Building Code bureaucracy feels any depth to or for it, IMHO.Lofts is best before about 1850 Her Felicity here And the character David Both are rather departures in the modern sense of being, or less, all of one piece personalities Now it has become all about druthers and escapades or should I really say escapes Individuals have some choices And Lofts doesn t do the moderns to the depths as she does for the characters of simpler times, wants, needs, and power structures of far smaller size.Lofts tries to make this one a circle, so that some of the end characters revert back to something tied to the very beginning of the building So we have a return to an Abbey, for instance And another black haired stranger Other minutia, too Which is interesting for those who think of karma or growing shrinking over and over again, or some kind of balance as a life force or history circle Certainly some of the very threads of this house s history of conflicts are repeated But in this particular book, I do think the connections for all symbolism it tended to break In fact, during the last 100 years we are not seeing a descendant at all It is just a history of buyers or traders for the house Sad too.One thing I absolutely do know Few writers grab little girls with too much imagination or ego as Norah Lofts did Not in any age for the writing OR for the character written She does better on older men than most writers too And in siblings, if they fit or not especially after adulthood This is not the Lofts book that should be read as a stand alone, IMHO As we leave Baildon, it now has 20,000 residents And for the first time, not everyone native knows everyone, nor their extended families The railway is not as important because vehicles can take you anywhere And because of that the Station Street, Southgate, Abbot s Walk and all else is worth a pittance to what it was Location, location, location Some of us know all about that bugger that is the real in real estate So a lifetime of industry and work may result in being underwater for the longest staying One of the lessons here that once again rolls around on the wheel of fortune Again and again Maybe the answer for the wise is to keep moving on A slight spoiler Ironically in this last book, most of the narrators do Not as in former centuries where some lived and died in the same house One thing I did notice I believe both series and most of her books have a Plant surname in them And that person always seems to have dreams of moving away And yet, they never seem to have accomplished that at all when you are reading 200 years later in the history. I was no philosopher, but it seemed to me that I could see straight simply because this life was the only one we had, it should be as good as we could make it.This third part of House series was a collection of stories around about the house at Old Vine than a family saga like two other parts These stories took place between the first half of XVIII century and the fifties of XX There were seven stories, the shortest had only around twenty pages.You could see faster changes, social and economic There was also a noticeable issue of women s lot, their rights and a role in the society So, this book showed very well the changes of the last two hundred years Real knowledge drifts into the mind imperceptibly.What I love especially in Norah Lofts writing is her a non judgmental way of describing the characters The character may have been a good naive person or a murderer Lofts treated them all the same She was a storyteller, not a judge A good daughter, they say A cattle dealer s daughter who dreamed too long and woke up too sudden.Some stories were very touching I have even cried one time It was good while it lasted, wasn t it All those tales from all three books contained many emotions sadness, anger, fear, love, hate, resignation, hope I can t tell they were heartwarming novels Most of the heroes and heroines didn t get what they wanted But seeing it as a whole you can feel that you are a part of something bigger, that although your struggles, your life seem to be next to nothing, nonetheless you are this tiny part and nobody nothing can erase you, your even tiny, tiny mark.