High Rising by Angela Thirkell High Rising by Angela Thirkell
Series: Barsetshire #1
Published by Virago on November 22, 2012 (first published 1933)
Source: Purchased
Genres: Classic, Fiction
Pages: 272
Format: eBook
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Successful lady novelist Laura Morland and her boisterous young son Tony set off to spend Christmas at her country home in the sleepy surrounds of High Rising. But Laura's wealthy friend and neighbour George Knox has taken on a scheming secretary whose designs on marriage to her employer threaten the delicate social fabric of the village. Can clever, practical Laura rescue George from Miss Grey's clutches and, what's more, help his daughter Miss Sibyl Knox to secure her longed-for engagement?

Utterly charming and very funny, High Rising is irresistible comic entertainment.

I loved High Rising. Laura Morland is a fabulous character. I appreciate how she looks at the world. She’s an author of popular novels set in the fashion world, which she chose because she knew women would enjoy reading about it. She has a pretty clear understanding of the people in her life, both their strengths and weaknesses. Other characters include train-obsessed children, loyal but opinionated servants, devoted secretaries with their own agendas, an unflappable schoolmaster’s wife, the village doctor, and several potential couples.

We get to see the ins and outs of the characters’ relationships, the scheming (in a good way), and the helping each other out. It’s just charming and witty. The dialogue is wonderful. The characters have fun talking to each other, if you know what I mean. They enjoy the conversations, they don’t just have them.

High Rising is a slice of life in this fictional corner of the world. People are ridiculous and silly and charming. They have joys and (not many) sadnesses. And there’s a happy ending. It’s just a comfortable, fun read, a bit dated maybe, but we all know that rarely bothers me.

About Angela Thirkell

Angela Margaret Thirkell (née Mackail, 30 January 1890 – 29 January 1961) was an English and Australian novelist. She also published one novel, Trooper to Southern Cross, under the pseudonym Leslie Parker.

She was the elder daughter of John William Mackail, a Scottish classical scholar and civil servant from the Isle of Bute who was the Oxford Professor of Poetry from 1906 to 1911. Her mother was Margaret Burne-Jones, daughter of the Pre-Raphaelite painter Edward Burne-Jones, and through her, Thirkell was the first cousin once removed of Rudyard Kipling and Stanley Baldwin.

She was married and divorced twice. Thereafter, her “attitude to any man to whom she attracted was summed up in the remark: ‘It’s very peaceful with no husbands.'”

She needed to earn a living so she set forth on the difficult road of the professional writer. Her first book, Three Houses, a memoir of her happy childhood was published in 1931 and was an immediate success. The first of her novels set in Trollope’s mythical county of Barsetshire was Demon in the House, followed by 28 others, one each year.

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