Saturday, 21 April 2018

The Song Collector - Natasha Solomons




 Several different kinds of love stories intertwined in this dual-time story set in Dorset.  Just after WW2 and the start of the 21st Century are the two time settings, but the characters remain the same except for those born after the early chapters.

Love of all kinds.  Love of the land;  love of a country house that costs so much to heat and keep standing that it is the catalyst for the breakup of a family.  Love of a woman, and the love of two men for that woman; love of music.  All these things contained within the pages of a book by an author I like a lot.

Certainly, after WW2 and on into the 1950s and 1960s, many of the country houses requisitioned for use during the war were returned to their owner with bits missing, badly damaged, some then unlivable in at all.  Use Google and you will find many country houses were just sold off or even blown up, so that the land could be used for building or farming.  For the war brought a real change in the way people lived.  The folk who had always worked in "the big house" and doffed their caps metaphorically (and sometimes for real) as the owners of said big house passed by,  had found that there were other chances for them at higher wages; and so only the older workers stayed on, doing the best they could.

A pot of tea on the lawn in the sunshine and The Song Collector would perhaps be enjoyable!