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The Chestnut Tree (Hardcover, Library Ed) Loot Price: R353
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The Chestnut Tree (Hardcover, Library Ed): Charlotte Bingham
The Chestnut Tree (Hardcover, Library Ed): Charlotte Bingham

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The Chestnut Tree (Hardcover, Library Ed)

Charlotte Bingham

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List price R425 Loot Price R353 Discovery Miles 3 530 You Save R72 (17%)

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Charlotte Bingham has written a series of enjoyable novels about, especially, the lives of upper-class women over the years, and here she charts the experiences of the full strata of those living in a small fishing village on the coast of Sussex when the Second World War broke out. Separated from the fighting in France by only a narrow stretch of water, Bexham is almost immediately in the front line. German aircraft crossing the Channel on their way to bomb the cities further north keep the villagers in a permanent state of alert - and very soon bombs are dropping on their own houses too. Rusty Todd, daughter of the local boatyard owner, finds herself embroiled in the 'little ships' rescue of stranded soldiers on the Dunkirk beaches. The well-off lose their servants to munitions factories and the production of camouflage material. Their daughters, destined for 'good' marriages and comfortable idleness, defiantly marry 'unsuitable' husbands -and leave home to join the Forces. Many do not see the end of the war; those who are left, bruised but not broken, face a very different future from the one they anticipated five years earlier - happier for some, lonelier for others, for there are many empty places, and many ghosts who will forever now haunt the battered little village by the Sussex sea. This is an absorbing and satisfying read, well evoking the sense of years gone by. (Kirkus UK)
It is the summer of 1939, and like the rest of Europe, the residents of the little idyllic Sussex fishing port of Bexham are preparing for war. Beautiful but shy Judy Melton, daughter of a naval war hero, her determinedly feckless friend, the social butterfly Meggie Gore-Stewart, seemingly demure Mathilda Eastcott, and Corrie Hogarth, the tomboy daughter of the owner of the local boatyard, are all in their very individual ways determined to play an active part in the defence of their country. Knitting socks and bomb-dodging is not what they have in mind for themselves while their husbands and brothers, fathers and lovers are away fighting. But attitudes to women's roles in a warring world are difficult to change, and at first all four find it impossible to settle for the traditional kind of work that their families envisage. However, it is not just the young women of Bexham who are determined to find new roles for themselves - so are their mothers. In this manner the little Sussex village, facing as it does the coastline of Nazi-invaded France, finds its closely sewn social fabric gradually unstitch, inch by little inch. Under the tree on the green the women of Bexham meet to look back on a landscape that has changed irrevocably, and which they have in their own ways helped to alter. None of them are the same, and yet, with the men returning from war, they are expected to slip back into their simple roles of mother, daughter, grandmother. This, more than anything perhaps, is their greatest sacrifice. Having been freed by war, they have now to relinquish that very independence that gave them the liberty for which they once fought. Only the chestnut tree planted by Corrie at the edge of the village flourishes in the accepted manner, finally becoming the uniting symbol of all that has passed forever.


Imprint: Doubleday
Country of origin: United Kingdom
Release date: August 2002
Authors: Charlotte Bingham
Dimensions: 234 x 156mm (L x W)
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 489
Edition: Library Ed
ISBN-13: 978-0-385-60066-8
Barcode: 9780385600668
Categories: Books > Fiction > General & literary fiction > Modern fiction
LSN: 0-385-60066-6

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