Friday, October 8, 2010

Review - Ordinary Families - E. Arnot Robertson

This was one of the books I rummaged out of the dust and grime of my second hand store in Colombo. A Penguin published in 1939. I am going back to shorter stories to read specially when I don't have much time to sit with a longer book.

I know its not really correct to say this but I was surprised to find that this is a book written by a woman. I know I sound irrational here but it had very masculine overtones!!!

The book written about an absolutely "not" ordinary family is a saga about an entire family who is very matter of fact about everything in their lives. The lack of money, the lack of beauty or brains or assertiveness - everything is just so matter of fact that you wish you could take some of that extra ordinary commonsense into your own life.

If you enjoy sailing and more sailing this is the book for you. Even though I have absolutely no clue as to what end of a boat is known as what, I liked the book. The children of the story - actually young teenagers - refreshingly simple, straight forward and innocent. Maybe reminiscent of the times. A father figure who dictates albeit in a not really autocratic way but definitely his way of doing things. A clash of personalities which is very sad between the father and his son, the father not realizing at any time that the son is a replica of himself all add to the story.

The story set in the 1930's is also very good for someone who is interested in birds and bird watching. It is a coming of age book of all the children in the story - the realization of sibling rivalry, awakening of sexuality, the realization that parents are not demi gods (yeah!) all that come together in this small book of 280 pages.

I had not read a book detailing such a lot of information about the birds of England or sailing before. I enjoyed this one.

PS I could not find a cover print to show you!

8 comments:

mary said...

I bought a very tattered copy of this simply ages ago and haven't got around to reading it. I hadn't counted on all the sailing, which rather put me off - but you've inspired me to pick it up again.

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) said...

The first description about how it's an ordinary family where everything is matter of fact makes it sound quite funny to me. I wonder if it's possible to find a book this old somewhere easily...

Tiffany Norris said...

Sounds interesting! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Amused said...

Wow, I haven't heard of this one before but it sounds fascinating! I love going back and discovering hidden gems.

A Bookish Space said...

This sounds interesting. Hope that the search for a copy of Howards End is going well :o)

Aths said...

I like the description of this book. Even though I'm not into sailing or birdwatching, I think this book will still click with me.

annechovie said...

Thanks for visiting my blog - have a great day!

Barb said...

Sounds interesting, thanks for the overview.