Monday, September 5, 2011

High Rising by Angela Thirkell

233 pages
Originally published in 1933
Reprinted by Moyer Bell in 2008
Kingston, RI & Lancaster, England

I first discovered the delightfully witty writings of Angela Thirkell when I stumbled upon Wild Strawberries in early 2010. I enjoyed the book so much I checked to see if there were other stories the included the same characters and was pleased to find Wild Strawberries was one of several books in a series! Right then and there I vowed to start at the beginning and read my way through the entire series -- what most know as the Angela Thirkell's Barsetshire Series.

But it was not until mid-spring 2011 that I had the chance to start at the beginning of the series with High Rising. Like Wild Strawberries, High Rising is not a dramatic tale, but instead a comical telling of every-day life in a little English country-side town during the early 1930s.

High Rising centers around Laura Morland, a windowed mother with four sons (three grown and absent from the story), who supports herself and her youngest son, Tony by writing fan-fiction. Included in the story are Laura and Tony's friends, associates, and neighbors who reside in the neighboring towns of Low Rising and High Rising within Barsetshire County. Although nothing much happens in either location the story is driven by the comical escapades of Tony (and at times Laura), a few romances, and plenty of observations on life and human nature by a cast of well-crafted characters -- all of which keep the reader turning page after page.

I found High Rising a delightfully charming and witty story and it didn't take long before I fell in love with the setting and many of the characters. High Rising is a comfort-read that gives one a feeling of nostalgia. It's the type of book I love to pick up and read when I just want to relax and enjoy a good story about people.

My only complaint was with the book edition. It is a reprint, but had numerous type-o's that should have been caught by the publisher (or editor). Because of this I did not bother to purchase a copy of High Rising, but instead borrowed one from my library. I would love to own a copy of this book, it was that good, but I am holding out for either an older (original) edition or correct reprint.

I definitely look forward to reading more in the series and highly recommend High Rising to those looking for a light, entertaining read with plenty of character charm.

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Buried In Print said...

I've been collecting these for a few years, after falling in love with the first (and a standalone of hers); I think they will make a delightful read from start-to-finish. Enjoy!

Val said...

Long ago I found a lovely set of Angela Thirkell stories in a second hand book shop I also found a set of Henry Cecil stories with the same owners book plate inside..I wish I could've met the lady who owned that library as I enjoyed her books so much..if you enjoy Angela Thirkell's stories perhaps you might enjoy Henry Cecil too