Good Daughters ePUB Ê Paperback

  • Paperback
  • 256 pages
  • Good Daughters
  • Mary Hocking
  • English
  • 24 December 2014
  • 9781853818431

10 thoughts on “Good Daughters

  1. Ali Ali says:

    Mary Hocking has been a recent discovery for many of us over on the Librarything Virago group I read A Particular place a couple of months ago and knew immediately I wanted to read all her books How delicious it is to discover a new author Mary Hocking – who it seems is scandalously out of print – is a lovely sort of mash up of Elizabeth Taylor and Barbara Pym also her books seem reasonably easy to get hold of second hand phew Why someone like Persephone or Virago aren’t rushing to re issue her books is something of a mysteryGood Daughters is the first book in Mary Hocking’s Fairley family trilogy – I have the next two waiting to be read The novel opens in 1933 the world is on the brink of great change and so is the Fairley family Sisters Louise Alice and Claire live in a traditional family home ina suburban street with their parents Stanley Fairley is the headmaster of a boys school and a Methodist lay preacher Although a loving father Stanley is uite strict with his daughters he finds so much in the changing world around him to disapprove of Louise wants to be an actressand her reuests to take acting parts in a dramatic society production are met with great suspicion Alice invents stories climbs trees and over the course of three years begins growing up and making sense of the world around her Most of the story of the Fairley family is seen through Alice’s eyes who seems to be a fairly autobiographical creation The youngest sister is Claire a dreamer who finds it hard to keep her sister’s secrets It was apparent that the head of the house was present Although he lacked the stature for natural authority being a little short of medium height he nevertheless on entering a room contrived the impression of a substantial force; an effect achieved mainly by a certain fierceness of expression and the thrusting of his stocky body against the air as though he was forever pushing an unseen opponent before him Forcefulness alone would probably not have been sufficient to sustain dominance over a long period of time but he was fortunate in having his wife’s support She had suffered in her own childhood from the lack of a man at the head of the table and was not minded to go through her marriage as her mother had hers She therefore reinforced her husband’s position while not always accepting his judgementNext door to the Fairley family live the Vaseyelin family the Fairley sisters are drawn into the lives of Jacov and Katia and their faded mother their father who doesn’t live with his family but plays Violin outside a London station It is at the Vaseyelin house that they meet Guy Immingham Katia goes to school with Alice and they are good friends but Alice’sother friend Daphne Drummond doesn’t like Katia Both Daphne and Katia’s families differ to the Fairley’s and Alice’s involvement with them change her and influence her understanding of the world Daphne’s father is a deeply unpleasant man Alice witnesses him with another woman and his right wing politics have influenced the way Daphne thinks too Louise is friends with both Jacov and Guy both of whom are involved with the drama she loves so much Jacov in helping to produce the play she is hoping to take part in and Guy as a fellow actor Guy’s mother is a snooty woman who lives her life through her golden boy she strongly disapproves of Louise and considering her determined to “get” her son Claire is able only to fully commit herself to one friend at a time and we see her changing childish allegiances and the way her friend of the moment directs her behaviour at home Poor Claire suffers a bit from being the youngest often the last to know what is going on reuired to keep uiet about things she is dying to talk about and necessarily reduced to freuent tears when she incurs her sister’s wrathMary Hocking re creates family life at this crucial changing time in England’s history faithfully and realistically there is a fantastic sense of time and place lots of good period detail Alice spends a lot of time at cinema mooning about the 1930′s stars of the silver screen Stanley Fairely keeps a eye on the news from Europe and Alice expresses mild concern at Katia’s proposed trip to her Grandparents in BavariaI know a lot of people out there are reading or planning to read Mary Hocking so I am loathe to say too much about the story This is an excellent start to a trilogy which I know know I will continue to enjoy and I am looking forward to the rest of the trilogy with enthusiasm

  2. Jane Jane says:

    This is the beginning of a family saga opening in London in the early 1930s; the first novel of a trilogyThe story is told by in the third person the perspective moves around the family and some of those who cross paths with them but at the centre of the story is twelve year old Alice one of three sisters the middle oneShe was at that interesting stage in life when she had the security of home and family but she was also beginning to see some – but by no means all – of the possibilities that life might have to offer “In later years Alice heard people talk as if those who grew up during the period between the two wars had lived their youth beneath the shadow of the swastika But it had not seemed like that at the timeAlthough in her childhood older people talked of the war that was just finished and then some ten years later began to talk of the war which was to come no shadow seemed to touch her until she was sixteen”The father Stanley dominates the family He is a headmaster and a lay preacher and he has firm – and maybe idealistic – views about his family should live He studies his newspaper carefully and he worries about what is happening to the world and what will happen to his daughters when they are grown His wife Judith appreciated his and her daughters feelings and she managed things beautifully with practical good sense and wonderful diplomatic skillsThe story of their eldest daughter Louise propels the plot Her parents hoped that she would go to university but Louise wanted to be an actress She persuaded them to let her join a drama group she let them think it was at her girls’ school but it wasn’tAnd Louise caught the attention of the boys in the group Meanwhile Alice is juggling friendships with two girls from very different backgrounds who do not get on Katia is the daughter of a family of Russian Jewish refugees while Daphne comes from a privileged but probably less happy backgroundMary Hocking as much pays attention to her secondary characters as her principals and so the story of those girls and their families brings another aspect to the story and illuminates the diversity of 1930s London wonderfully wellAccounts of school life where the narrative perspective moves towards their teachers are particularly well done Mary Hocking worked in education until she could support herself by her writing and it is clear that she had strong feelings and a depth of understandingAlice was an average student but she discovered a talent for writing; that confirmed the suspicion I had from the start that a great deal in this story was drawn from lifeMary Hocking paints pictures of family life and of the world around the family wonderfully well Her evocation of time and place is pitch perfect her period details are well chosen and I didn’t doubt for a moment that she knew and understood everything that she wrote aboutShe wrote well simply and clearly in good old fashioned EnglishA wide ranging cast of characters and some trips away from home including one to Cornwall that probably explains where Mary Hocking got her very Cornish surname meant that there was always something to hold my attentionBut I have the same reservation that I had last time I read one of her booksThe narrative style and the writing style held me at a distance from the story and I would have liked to be a little closer to feel that I knew rather than knew of – the Fairley familyI wish that she had written this book in the first person and I am sure that she had the understanding the grasp of her material that she could have done it For me either a little immediacy in the storytelling or a little beauty in the prose would have really elevated this bookThat is not to say that it isn’t a very good book It isMary Hocking was a very fine chronicler of an age she lived throughAnd I am eager to read the second and third books of the trilogy

  3. Sarah Sarah says:

    The three Fairley sisters Louise Alice and Claire are the focus of this novel The older sisters are beginning to challenge their sheltered and religious world It is set in London between the wars in a close knit community and we move between the three daughters and their parents lives Their father Stanley is the dominant character in the family He is a Methodist teacher and has idealistic and uncompromising views on how their family unit will be Their mother Judith is uiet encouraging and supportive I did enjoy reading this book from an author new to me There was a real sense of the uncertain times they were living through and some amusing and touching momentsThis novel shows a family learning to understand each other in a world that is changing rapidly and how they survive together with the demands that change creates

  4. Theresa Theresa says:

    “Stanley said to Judith how blessed they were in their daughters Only Judith wondered whether this might be the last holiday they would have together as a family The children had no thought of last things confident that everything lay ahead of them” I had not read Mary Hocking before but saw reviews that were so compelling that I picked up this first book in her trilogy “Good Daughters” with expectations of a treat before me I have to say that at first I wasn’t too impressed This coming of age in prewar England novel had its moments; chapters that describe vacations school growing up family and boy girl relationships It took me a few chapters to get into the lives of the characters But as I read on I discovered that this is no simple story of family life in England In between the school girl stories that include both triumphs and failures there is also tragedy There is a friend who travels to Germany and doesn’t come back There are unforeseen and unprepared for conseuences from rash choices and there are also bits of wonderful prose; bright sparkling paragraphs of deep challenging explorations of the meaning of life and this sometimes crazy upside down world we live in As I read I continued to vacillate between really really liking the stories of family life and alternately wishing the author had not included a few of the scenes And there is uite a variety of characterization here; the elderly crochety grandmother the unassailable school headmistress the pretentious Mrs Immingham the pleasant refreshing country vacations and the Jubilee parade All are depicted and written about as if the reader himself is present Now that I have finished reading I am still somewhat hesitant and uncertain of how to view this surprising book but I do know that I have to keep reading I find myself looking forward to picking up the second book in the trilogy “Indifferent Heroes” Certainly the characters have stayed with me and the story line also The Fairleys are a ‘fairly’ excuse the pun typical family with three girls a stern father and supportive mother and a ‘middling’ comfortable life Not rich or pretentious this is life as it was for much of England before the war begins although events are escalating and the war looms on the horizon coloring the background “They grew up aware of an older stable way of life though they were not to be its inheritors” Louise the eldest seems ready to throw off restraint in her response to the restrictions placed upon her by her well meaning minister father I suppose there are many that did not appreciate the character of Stanley Fairley but having children of my own I could understand his concerns Without revealing too much Stanley’s well meaning attempts to place stringent boundaries upon his children unfortunately result in the very conseuence that he fears Judith brings a balance to the family as she tries to pave a smooth path between father and daughters There are real life situations and some of the vignettes will not be appreciated as the author does not hesitate to portray all of the details that life involves including the unattractive side of human nature However the final chapter simply blew me away The author takes Alice through her agonizing uestions to examine the role of her own life and that of those around her Alice is not afraid to ask uestions and concludes that although some of life's dilemmas will never be satisfactorily answered an enduring faith even in the midst of human suffering lays the groundwork for it all “Her puritan upbringing had laid much emphasis on the need for endurance in the face of injustice fortitude in suffering and by their very nature the virtues commended to her implied a certain grimness in the grain of life What she had not been prepared for because she did not merit it was the laying of a jeweled robe across her shoulders There was something shocking about grace an inexplicable uirk in God’s behavior; the struggle to come to terms with it would be her life But she did not see that now was only dimly aware of a beginning”

  5. Mary Durrant Mary Durrant says:

    I loved this book which is the first novel of a trilogyWe have the Fairley sisters who grow up in a close knit family in west LondonThey live a sheltered life upheld by their Methodist Father Stanley and their uiet Mother JudithSet between the WarsLife is soon to change as the girls grow older and dependantCan't wait to read the next in the series

  6. Elizabeth Elizabeth says:

    This is a charming perceptive study of a family living in London between the wars It's a good mix of detailed ordinary occurrences and dramatic events just as with any family She reminds me just a bit of Rebecca West There are some fascinating passages having to do with religion fascism and educationI was a bit disappointed with the ending but it's part of a trilogy so perhaps I need to read the other books

  7. Donna Donna says:

    Story of a London family between the wars Gets better as it progresses though somewhat disjointed at times Contains lots of interesting period details Definitely want to read the next in the trilogy

  8. belva hullp belva hullp says:

    This the first volume of Hocking's trilogy spans both the years of wartime and the lives of one London family The Fairley daughters are growing up in the traditional world maintained by their father This world is shaken by the girls' discoveries of life and what comes with itMary Hocking writes with humor and sympathy in her depiction of the Fairley sisters growing up in their close knit West London neighborhood before during and after the war In the first novel of this trilogy the girls are sheltered in a world whose traditions of hard work and simplicity are upheld by their Methodist father and their strong uiet mother But as love comes to Louise and adventures tempt Alice unsettling emotions thoughts lurk amid terrible rumors traveling from Germany rumors of the catastrophe to come Claire the baby of the family is young enough to be so busy with her friends play that she is unaware for a time of the things to come realization only comes as she becomes aware of her reactionary familyI found this to be a lovely moving and satisfying book on so many levels and I hope to read the 2nd book in the trilogy Indifferent Heroes for April

  9. Susan Kavanagh Susan Kavanagh says:

    Although I listed this novel on my forgotten books shelf I am delighted to report that in 2016 Bello published Mary Hocking's books in both ebook and print on demand formats For this we can thank the blogger Heavenali who championed this out of print author and suggested to Bello that it was time for a reprint This terrific book is the first of a trilogy about three sisters their family friends and neighbor and covers the period from 1933 until the beginning of WWII A number of reviews are very detailed and I would recommend particularly Ali's and Jane's reviews I can't wait to read the second book in the trilogy Indifferent Heroes

  10. Cirtnecce Cirtnecce says:

    Set in 1933 the book opens with an introduction to the Farley Family residing in Shepard’s Bush London – Stanley the father is a well intentioned albeit a strict Methodist man who is the principle of a Boy’s school He is a kind good man wanting the best for his family somewhat out of touch with reality His wife Judith is a strong sensible woman who is far in touch with reality and changes that they need to make in the lives as their daughters start to become women The daughters in order of their age are Louise Alice and Clare who have hereto led sheltered but good lives but are now on the threshold of womanhood; particularly Louise who is seeking new freedoms and adventures trying to break free from her father’s Methodist lifestyle and dreams of becoming an actress Alice is the middle daughter a plum girl good in sports and a hidden talent for writing trying to find her own world as she enters teenage Clare is the youngest of the Farley girls the most earnest and single minded still a child trying to understand the world where her sister’s are disappearing into As Hitler starts to make threatening noises in Europe life in Shepard Bush also changes for the three girls as they make new friends discover new emotions and realize that there is perhaps no simple answers to life and there is to things than just appearances Over the next two years that the novel plots we see the girls making choices and settling into lives on which they did not intend to set out originally but were now firmly trodding on and with the Farley parents forced to accept changes that they never thought they would need to makeI loved the characterizations – the Farley parents outshine all others You love them you are irritated with them especially when remembering your own adolescence and you find solace and warmth in them Mary Hocking created two perfect characters in Stanley and Judith imbibing them with many human flaws and yet making them outstanding parents and friends who see you through when they see your through The daughters are also very well drawn out and though I could not relate to Louise I could understand the need to breakaway and I saw strong glimpses of my friends and myself in Alice and Claire The ensemble cast is eually brilliant – as a reader you want to be friends with the next door neighbors Vaseyelin family the Russian family who escaped the Revolution Miss Blaze the formidable principle of the school the girls attend the grandparents and cousin Ben the orphaned studious self made young man Mary Hocking presents a wonderful picture of a family and their daily lives in the world which was thought to be safe in the wake of World War I She brings out the disbelief of the changes that seemed to be propelling the world into another war externally as well changes at home which the Farley’s need to make in beautiful and balanced contrast Despite all this I do own I kind of felt let down – like a promise that was not kept There was too much time spent on the sexual awakening of the daughters and while I understand girls at that age are curious about things happening to them I do not think that is the only preoccupation – a feeling I distinctly got from the novel as I heard of the changes and longings of the eldest two daughters especially LouiseFurther I found the ending a bit cliched and even linearagain in specific reference to Louise – what happened we expected to happen from early on in the novel There are things and people I would have liked to explore and maybe in her Volume 2 and 3 Mary Hocking does do them justice I will have to read to find The language is clear and concise – simple yet definitive prose that draws clear mental pictures for the reader of the kind of home and family and life that the author tried to showcaseGood Daughters is a great read with some reservations but good enough to convince me to reach out for Mary Hocking’s novels and for sure complete the Farley Saga

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Good Daughters[PDF / Epub] ☉ Good Daughters By Mary Hocking – In a world of tradition change is always greeted with suspicion To Stanley Fairley the upheavals in his own family seemed to be as catastrophic as the changes that gripped Europe in the early 1930'sHe In a world of tradition change is always greeted with suspicion To Stanley Fairley the upheavals in his own family seemed to be as catastrophic as the changes that gripped Europe in the early 'sHe though about his daughters Louise Alice and little Claire They were growing up turning into young women he hardly knew Louise had bobbed her hair and disappeared for hours at a time without saying where she was going Alice dreamed of adventure wild romance and exotic mystery Even Claire seemed different these days.