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Amberwell ❮KINDLE❯ ❥ Amberwell ❆ Author D.E. Stevenson – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Five young Ayrtons all grew up at Amberwell, playing in the gardens and preparing themselves to venture out into the world To each of these children, Amberwell meant something different, but common to Five young Ayrtons all grew up at Amberwell, playing in the gardens and preparing themselves to venture out into the world To each of these children, Amberwell meant something different, but common to all of them was the idea that Amberwell was than just where they lived it was part of them Amberwell drove one of its children into a reckless marriage and healed another of his woundsand there was one child who stayed at home and gave up her life to keep things running smoothly.


10 thoughts on “Amberwell

  1. Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ says:

    Good old fashioned historic fiction.I started this nostalgic book, intending to read just a couple of chapters, but found it too hard to put down and finished it off the same night It s the story of the Ayrton family and their beloved estate in Scotland, Amberwell In particular, it follows five siblings through their childhood and into their lives as young adults during the WWII years With emotionally absent parents, Roger, Tom, Connie, Nell and Anne learn to rely on each other for support B Good old fashioned historic fiction.I started this nostalgic book, intending to read just a couple of chapters, but found it too hard to put down and finished it off the same night It s the story of the Ayrton family and their beloved estate in Scotland, Amberwell In particular, it follows five siblings through their childhood and into their lives as young adults during the WWII years With emotionally absent parents, Roger, Tom, Connie, Nell and Anne learn to rely on each other for support But life pulls them in different directions.It s rather leisurely paced but insightful, and the characters are well drawn I wanted to punch out the parents, who really did their children especially their daughters a disservice The parents motto was never explain citing Benjamin Disraeli Never complain and never explain They just issue orders The girls are never taken anywhere as children, not even to church or the local village So it was really interesting seeing what life brought to their five children, and what they made of their lives, especially when hard times hit as they do nearly all of them, with one notable exception.When he had gone Nell lay awake for a long time trying to tidy up the chaos in her mind It was not easy She had always thought of herself as a complete nonentity, unimportant and ineffectual but now, all of a sudden, she had had heavy responsibilities placed upon her shoulders, and placed there quite confidently Roger obviously had no doubt at all of her ability to cope.It s always nice seeing people rise to a challenge Not that life is all rainbows and sunshine here WWII, not to mention the fraught family dynamics, both have a real effect on the characters lives.This book isn t nearly as heartwrenching as some WWII era books it felt a littlelike a cozy read, with most of the deaths and trauma taking place with a little distance But I really liked that it was realistic, both about the effects of the family s dysfunctions view spoiler those parents I really wanted to snatch their neglected daughters away from them hide spoiler and the wartime experiences


  2. Abigail Bok Abigail Bok says:

    There s a period between the world wars that is widely regarded by anglophiles and other sentimentalists as a golden era for a certain class of English gentry, at least a time when families with land still had enough money, and enough servants disposed to serve, that they could lead lives of beauty and elegant idleness D E Stevenson s gentle romance or so the cover tells us to consider it , Amberwell, begins in the heart of that era Her writing is sweet and placid, but are we really to There s a period between the world wars that is widely regarded by anglophiles and other sentimentalists as a golden era for a certain class of English gentry, at least a time when families with land still had enough money, and enough servants disposed to serve, that they could lead lives of beauty and elegant idleness D E Stevenson s gentle romance or so the cover tells us to consider it , Amberwell, begins in the heart of that era Her writing is sweet and placid, but are we really to consider it the golden age it appears to be Amberwell is an estate in southern Scotland that has been inhabited by the Ayrton family for generations, each generation adding to or enhancing the property The current generation, after due reflection, decides that a lily pool with a mermaid statue is the apt enhancement for their day Perhaps this fanciful embellishment should serve as a warning that all is not as edenic as it seems Five children are being raised in this remote paradise, and the story quickly becomes theirs There are two sons from a lost first wife and three daughters from the second wife and current Amberwell mistress Absent much interaction with neighbors, the children develop their own society, influenced by their governess and mostly their nurse and one another but remote from parents and the outer world alike The boys are eventually sent away to school and thus receive exposure to wider influences, but the girls remain at home, immured within the walls of the estate They are happy there, but the reader soon picks up intimations that they are not being prepared for real life.Eventually rumors of war, followed inevitably by war itself, intrude upon this idyll The boys vanish into service, one of the sisters moves on, the parents ignore the cataclysm, and it is left to the youngest sisters to adapt and cope That they do so without losing their grace is miraculous.I love D E Stevenson s writing because she shows that realism does not require harshness, profanity, violence, or following characters into the bedroom or bathroom This is a traumatic story gently told to my mind, it is all theimpactful for the deceptive sweetness The beauties of the scene, the surface ease of the characters lives, seduce the reader into expectations that are repeatedly defied It is cozy put to meaningful purpose.The final chapters require a wrench in setting and point of view and the wrap up felt a bit hasty, but these are trivial criticisms when set against my appreciation for Stevenson s artfulness


  3. Donna Donna says:

    How lovelylovely estate, lovely children, lovely descriptions I escaped to my favorite place, Britain, with my favorite characters, children, made possible by my new favorite author, D.E Stevenson The novel revolves around the Ayrton family Will and Marion Ayrton seem to have one raison detre to enhance their Scottish estate, while adhering to the social s of the time Their children are neglected and left to fend for themselves, and the novel focuses on the children s survival s How lovelylovely estate, lovely children, lovely descriptions I escaped to my favorite place, Britain, with my favorite characters, children, made possible by my new favorite author, D.E Stevenson The novel revolves around the Ayrton family Will and Marion Ayrton seem to have one raison detre to enhance their Scottish estate, while adhering to the social s of the time Their children are neglected and left to fend for themselves, and the novel focuses on the children s survival skills and their development in adulthood as they live through WWII I enjoyed Amberwell muchthan I expected This novel so reminds me of Richmal Crompton and her ability to write about children as individuals I truly delighted in this novel My visit to Amberwell was a happy oneI just wished it could have been longer


  4. Julie Durnell Julie Durnell says:

    Another delightful book from Stevenson this was so heart warming I really enjoyed Nell s character and I am assuming there is a sequel so we know if she finds love at last The siblings are so close even though as adults they have moved apart great ending


  5. Helen Helen says:

    A few years ago I read one of D E Stevenson s most popular novels, Miss Buncle s Book I found it a lovely, charming read, but as I said in my review at the time, I thought it lacked that special spark I hadn t really thought about reading anyof her books until I noticed that some of them were being reissued by Endeavour Press I liked the sound of Amberwell and decided to give Stevenson another chance to impress me.Amberwell is the name of a house and estate in the south west of Sco A few years ago I read one of D E Stevenson s most popular novels, Miss Buncle s Book I found it a lovely, charming read, but as I said in my review at the time, I thought it lacked that special spark I hadn t really thought about reading anyof her books until I noticed that some of them were being reissued by Endeavour Press I liked the sound of Amberwell and decided to give Stevenson another chance to impress me.Amberwell is the name of a house and estate in the south west of Scotland, home to Mr and Mrs Ayrton and their five children Roger, Tom, Connie, Nell and Anne The Ayrtons show little interest in getting to know the children the two boys are sent away to school as soon as possible, their future careers mapped out for them by their father regardless of their own wishes Education for the girls is not considered important they remain in the nursery at Amberwell to be raised by Nannie and taught at home by Miss Clarke, who comes in daily.As the years go by and World War II approaches, the Ayrton children begin to follow their own paths in life Roger and Tom go off to war while Connie and Anne under very different circumstances both leave home, with only the middle sister, Nell, left behind to care for Amberwell Amberwell itself remains at the centre of the story and even as the Ayrtons move away or move on, it continues to hold a special place in each of their hearts.I loved Amberwell I found it very different from Miss Buncle s Book aserious, poignant story rather than a humorous one but muchto my taste I was particularly interested in the portrayal of the effects of war on a wealthy family living in a quiet, rural area who at first are shielded from what is going on elsewhere but eventually find that their own way of life is changing too I could understand Roger s anger during a conversation with his parents in which he discovers that they areconcerned about losing their servants than they are about Roger himself, who is risking his life for his country.This is not just a book about war, of course It s also a book about Scottish society before and during the war and what it was like to be a young woman growing up in that time and place And it s a book about the relationships between brothers and sisters and between parents and children and the damage which can be caused by a lack of understanding, attention and affection.The beautiful Connie is the conventional one who does what is expected of her and as such she is the least interesting of the Ayrtons to read about as well as being the hardest to warm to, but I cared very much about the fates of the other four siblings Anne s life takes a dramatic turn following a visit to her Aunt Beatrice and we have to wait until the end of the novel to hear the full story of her adventures, while Tom and Roger are both easy to like and their love for Amberwell and their sisters shines through strongly But this is really Nell s story Nell s and Amberwell s and Nell is a wonderful person, offering help and support to those who need it and ensuring that her brothers and sisters have a home to come back to when the war is over.After finishing this book I was pleased to find that there is a sequel, Summerhills, which I will be reading as soon as I have the opportunity I would love to know what happens to the characters I ve become so fond of, particularly Nell, my favourite I also have a copy of another Stevenson novel, Vittoria Cottage, which I m looking forward to now that I ve enjoyed this one so much


  6. Amy Amy says:

    This wasn t as cozy as some of the other DE Stevenson books I ve read but instead it felt like a realistic view into life during the war There was tragedy but also triumph I loved it.


  7. Jennifer Jennifer says:

    My 4 star review does not mean that this is for everyone It s very British and cozy and somewhat twee definitely a comfort read for me but I am sure that many of my friends would not enjoy it I loved the manor house elements and the Scottish landscape This is my first Stevenson and in the early chapters I wasn t sure it would be for me the early years where we learn the lay of the land through very young children s eyes was a bit too cute at times but once the children are adults and My 4 star review does not mean that this is for everyone It s very British and cozy and somewhat twee definitely a comfort read for me but I am sure that many of my friends would not enjoy it I loved the manor house elements and the Scottish landscape This is my first Stevenson and in the early chapters I wasn t sure it would be for me the early years where we learn the lay of the land through very young children s eyes was a bit too cute at times but once the children are adults and war WWII is looming the storyline picks up I m definitely going to look forby Stevenson


  8. Shiloah Shiloah says:

    Sooo good I listened to this one My fourteen year old was enjoying the last couple of hours with me in the car She is dying to know if Ann will be remarried one day Thankfully, we havein this series and can hope for the best That and I need to know what happens to the beloved Nell


  9. Katherine Katherine says:

    There s never been a D.E Stevenson book I haven t liked and will readily admit that even her less satisfying stories tend to be far and away much better reading than most contemporary novels However, I will say that in this story all the Ayrton adults both parents and the aunt are truly reprehensible humans and hard to take page after page their selfishness, narrowness, arrogance, and negligence are astounding What saves the book from a complete fall into the morass of family dysfunction a There s never been a D.E Stevenson book I haven t liked and will readily admit that even her less satisfying stories tend to be far and away much better reading than most contemporary novels However, I will say that in this story all the Ayrton adults both parents and the aunt are truly reprehensible humans and hard to take page after page their selfishness, narrowness, arrogance, and negligence are astounding What saves the book from a complete fall into the morass of family dysfunction are the relationships of the children, which are a delight to read And of course, Amberwell itself.4.5 starsNote on the narration As always Lesley Mackie does a superb job and manages to pull off the children s voices which seems to be challenge most narrators have difficulty with


  10. Jeanette Jeanette says:

    Another thoroughly enjoyable read from Stevenson A bitserious in tone than some of her other books but still very typical I have read enough of Stevenson s novels by now to feel I am treading familiar ground each time I pick up one of her books Perhaps, at this point, that is part of the appeal and why I keep reading I liked how Stevenson made a nod to her famous lighthouse building ancestors by having one of the characters see and talk about the Bell Rock Lighthouse.


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