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Cider With Rosie

Cider With Rosie

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I was reminded, with a jolt, in amongst the stories of day trips to Weston-super-Mare, and blackberry picking, and carolling in the snow, of the violence, grief and sometimes sheer brutality of village life. Parts of it were good, I especially liked the chapter on the grannies, only if the whole of it could have been like that?

I think this is my third read and so, of course, I knew already that Cider With Rosie was wonderful but I had forgotten just how wonderful. Me ha recordado mucho a cuando leí "Las cenizas de Ángela", aunque no ha conseguido encandilarme tanto como esperaba. The classic evocative tale of an idyllic childhood in the English countryside Cider with Rosie is a wonderfully vivid memoir of childhood in a remote Cotswold village, a village before electricity or cars, a timeless place on the verge of change. As he grows older, he starts to recognise the villagers as individuals: Cabbage-Stump Charlie, the local bruiser; Albert the Devil, a deaf mute beggar; and Percy-from-Painswick, a clown and ragged dandy who likes to seduce the girls with his soft tongue.A chapter entitled "The Kitchen" which is the center of a home, and here we hear of his family, his mother and father and half-sisters, half-brothers and brothers. However, reader be warned, don't fall in love like I did with the bucolic, English countryside of Lee's childhood because it does not exist anymore. We readers find in it great fecundity: trees ‘writhed with power, threw off veils of green dust, rose towering into the air, branched into a thousand shaded alleys, became a city for owls and squirrels’. Their new home is nestled deep in the valley, warmed by open fires and water is got from a pump outside the back door. It was a small stone barn divided by a wooden partition into two rooms – The Infants and The Big Ones.

It also takes a very relaxed approach to consenting incest, underage sex and drink and attempted gang rape – not something I expected as a teenager reading a book of such antiquity! Good-humoured, unpretentious and a bit eccentric, it's more like having a well-read friend than a subscription to a literary review.

Here his world is large, scary, cosy and baffling, a world dominated by females and the language reflects this. On the other hand, there are long passages about church festivals and group outings that, while interesting, seem to plod on past their necessity. Because, of course, we are all the same, we all reject men and we're all cold and evil and have no feelings. Most of all, perhaps, Lee makes no attempt to prettify country life; although there are marvelous things to be found in the fields and hedgerows, there is also a commonplace brutality to country living, including incest, violent sexual relations, and even murder.

Cider with Rosie is also awash with fables and eccentric characters - folkloric and exaggerated, whimsical, and typical of rural life. I loved how he describes the beauty of nature, the difficult, poverty stricken life he endured, the sights and scents and the sounds of everything glorious and everything horrid. He was even sued for libel – the result of some (possibly imagined) memories about a piano factory fire.Reading Cider with Rosie bought back so many memories of my own childhood, I almost forgot about Laurie Lee's. Having been forced to leave school early because of her mother's death and the need to look after her brothers and father, she then went into domestic service, working as a maid in large houses. when he drank summer’s cider with the blooming Rosie, he felt rooted in an English Arcadia, at one with the ancients. Lee describes his mother as having a love for everything and an extraordinary ability with plants, being able to grow anything anywhere.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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