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review 2017-03-03 04:50
Lark Rise - Flora Thompson

Lark Rise, the first book from Flora Thompson's trilogy, is a history of the English hamlet famously depicted in the BBC adaptation Lark Rise to Candleford. Thompson's story is semi-autobiographical, drawing from her childhood and those who featured in it.


She writes with humor and heartwarming nostalgia. Each chapter is focused on an aspect of the country lifestyle with which she was accustomed. Her memories are rendered with profound detail, allowing for the type of visual imagery that makes a reader feel as if he or she is lying among soft blades of grass or greeting the morning sun before milking the cows.


So much of the intricacies of hamlet life are vivid through Thompson's character Laura, who's reprimanded for her precociousness and whimsical appreciation of life. I read this book after watching the television series twice. I had begun to read this novel with the hopes of better understanding the characters I had grown to love from the screen.


My dismay lies in the fact that Lark Rise was not plot driven, nor did Thompson particularly invest in character development, rather they were used as eyes with which she could guide the reader along the roads of her hometown. Nevertheless, the fleeting moments wherein Thompson offered information about Edmund or Twister had me verbally pronouncing (alone in my room where no one could hear me or question my sanity) my pain upon knowing the dismal futures they had yet to discover. These endings were not demonstrated in the show, and therefore they served as a great surprise for me, albeit a sad one, while reading it on the page.


Finally, because Thompson is a woman recounting a personal history at a point in time where technology has distracted from the natural delicacies of nature and life has essentially progressed beyond farming and spring fairs, Lark Rise reads as a melancholic dream of long ago, an intimate love letter to a simpler time.



AND the illustrations for each of the chapters were absolutely beautiful etchings 

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review 2015-05-03 19:20
Interesting but no plot, really
Lark Rise to Candleford: a Trilogy - Flora Thompson

This is one of those “saw the TV series before I heard about the book” books.  I mean it has Saffie in it.  Anyways, this book is different, but it’s not bad.  I just wish it had little more than in the way of a plot or was a straight out memoir.


                The three books that make up this edition detail the life of the poor people (low class) that Flora Thompson came from.  In this regard, it does make the first volume, “Lark Rise”, the best of the three.  The level of detail and the almost chatty tone in Lark Rise make up for the slight lack of characterization.  You can be there, and you can understand why it was adapted into a series.  This falls off slightly in the second book, “Over Candleford,” though some of the charm is still there, and there is more reference to subjects that were taboo, such as drunkenness and its corresponding violence.  The third volume, detailing Laura’s rise to a job is perhaps the weakest because while it is the closest to having a plot, it doesn’t quite, and the charm is missing in large sections.


                Still it captures what was and how it changed quite well. 



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photo 2013-04-11 15:24

I live for second-hand book shopping. Whenever I feel the slightest bit down I head straight for the charity shops. Oxfam are particularly good for old and interesting books, including this lovely hardback copy of Brideshead Revisited (which is also beautifully illustrated). To be honest, getting first pick of the donated books is one of the perks of volunteering there;) I’ve also picked up Lark Rise to Candleford, a Penguin book on Victorian Literature and a volume of Jane Austen’s letters! Thoroughly satisfying:)

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review 2011-12-31 00:00
Lark Rise to Candleford: "Lark Rise"; "Over to Candleford"; "Candleford Green": A Trilogy - Flora Thompson from imdb - An adaptation of Flora Thompson's autobiographical novel "Lark Rise To Candleford", set in 19 century Oxfordshire, in which a young girl moves to the local market town to begin an apprenticeship as a postmistress.This is Thompson writing in Austen's 'Emma' mode, executing her fictionalised autobiography. After a while the self-righteous moralising tone palls, however it is well worth a dip-in.
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review 2011-12-10 00:00
Lark Rise to Candleford: a Trilogy - Flora Thompson Like Little House on the Prairie but with more textual awareness of poverty, class, and sexism. Also, it's set in rural Victorian England. Otherwise, just like, complete with grand tales of killing the pig and stories about getting dresses muddy on the miles-long walk to school.
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