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Long Summer Day (1995)

Long Summer Day (1995)

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4.14 of 5 Votes: 2
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0340043601 (ISBN13: 9780340043608)
coronet books

About book Long Summer Day (1995)

I was approached to review this book because I had read (and loved) Fall of Giants by Ken Follett. Are these two books similar? Well, they're both really long, and they tell a story of a period of a time rather than any one character.Long Summer's Day follows Paul Craddock, who, after an injury, buys Shallowford and becoems Squire Craddock. The novel follows his life after becoming Squire, and how he impacts the tenants and inhabitants of valley, and how they impact him. While Paul is undeniably the top dog, so to speak, other main characters include Claire, Ikey, Rudd, and ok, there are a lot and I'm not going to list them here. It's through the collective story of these people that you get a sense of England in the early 1900s, and how they were (resisting) change.My favourite character of this book is probably Claire. Although she did not feature prominently in the first half of the book (apart from the first few chapters), I liked her because of her generous nature. She has a really loving spirit, and is unflinchingly honest.Curiously, I didn't like Grace, the feminist and women's suffrage campaigner even though, when I think about it, the two of them are quite alike. They both know what they want, although they want different things. Perhaps it's because most of the novel is seen through Paul's eyes, and Grace hurts Paul quite badly emotionally. Or it could because Grace was somehow too unique, and I didn't like her because I didn't understand her.This is a long, winding read, and it's at its best when the author is just letting the story speak. At certain times, the author tries to give an overview of how all the character feels through a bird flying or something like that, and for that moment, it goes very close to the bother of pretentiousness. But thankfully, such moments are few, and the book is a lovely read because it manages to tell the tale of many people in a straightforward manner.I would definitely recommend to fans of long reads like Fall of Giants. It's not a fast-paced adventure, but rather, follows the meandering road of a man's life.Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.This review was first posted at Inside the mind of a Bibliophile

1966: A Horseman Riding By (published in the USA as two novels, Long Summer Day and Post of Honor) Description: Paul Craddock is still young when he is invalided out of the army after the Boer War and he discovers the neglected estate of Shallowford in a secluded corner of Devon. It seems remote from the march of progress. But as storm clouds gather over Europe, Paul learns that no part of England, however remote, can escape the challenge of the times.Opening: He left the carriage, ascended the short flight of steps and walked briskly past the dozing porter sitting in the deep shade of the portico; a small neat man, in dark, well-cut city clothes and glossy topper.It's mid-summer, hailstones ricocheting around, so what better time to crack this open...Total reboot summer 2015 and am pleased to say it was worth the effort of getting through the front-loaded introductions. This turned into an enjoyable sweeping saga and I look forward to the next episode, 'Post of Honour'.TR God Is an Englishman (Swann Saga, #1) 3* To Serve Them All My Days 3* Diana3.5* Long Summer DayTR Post of HonourTR The Green Gauntlet

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Oooh I really loved this. *hugs book close* It's going on my favorites shelf for sure. Simply put, a young man, Paul Craddock, is invalided out of the Boer war, inherits some money and purchases a large estate in Devonshire, 'playing squire' to the laboring families in the valley. If you think that sounds dry, it's not. Once the characters are all introduced (which takes some time so consider yourself forewarned) the story gallops along without a lull. Aside from very absorbing family melodrama, there is madness, a grisly murder with a hay knife, a shipwreck, poaching gone wrong, suffragist action and romances aplenty. Time covered is roughly twenty years and the characters are varied and three dimentional. I feel like I know them so personally that if I was to travel to Shallowford now, a hundred years later, there would be no "empty chairs at empty tables" but the fields would be alive, ringing with scythes and familiar laughter, the villagers I know putting down their burdens to wave or lend a hand.Yes, I would be very sad to leave these folks but there's no need for tears yet as I've got two more books in the series to read :)On to POST OF HONOR!CONTENT:SEX: A number of non-explicit, but frank encounters, mostly behind closed doors.VIOLENCE: One murder, a few knock outs, suffragest violence.PROFANITY: Mild, mostly DsPARANORMAL ELEMENTS: One character of gypsy background reads cards to herselfMY RATING: PG-13RECOMMENDED READING AUDIENCE: Adult

I am a great fan of Delderfield and read all of his books back in the '60s and '70s. I was curious to see if I would enjoy them as much so many years later, and I am happy to say I enjoyed this one even more the second time around! His style is similar to Michener, but I think he's a much better writer. Lt. Paul Craddock is home from the Boer War having been seriously injured. Since he can no longer pursue a military career, he buys a "fixer upper" estate in the West Country and makes his life there. There are wonderful characters and a tremendous variety of story lines that draw you right in and take you back to England at the beginning of the 20th Century. This is only the first volume in a three-volume epic, so there's lots more to come as we follow the Craddock family and all their neighbors!
—Nancy Ellis

I won't go into details of the plot as many others here have done so but I'm afraid to say that I don't agree with all the 4 and 5 star reviews here. I found the story quite slow moving, didn't connect with the main character and to be honest I just couldn't get into it. I'm quite disappointed really because I had high hopes for this one - I normally quite enjoy family sagas, especially those set during the first half of the 20th century. I really wanted to like it but didn't find the characters or story engaging and won't be reading the other books in the trilogy. I may come back to this at another time and attempt a re-read to see if I enjoy it any more.

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