The Town House / The House at Old Vine / The House at Sunset
This trilogy, spanning six centuries, is the story of a Suffolk house and the people who lived in it from the late 14th century until the middle of the 20th. The house evolves as each successive family puts their own individual stamp on it, adapting the building to suit their needs. Like the house, its inhabitants develop as their situation and custom dictates. They are, each and every one, children of their time.
The founder of the house and a dynasty is Martin Reed, a serf living under the yoke of Lord Bowdegrave. Denied permission to acquire an education or to marry, Martin decides to run away with his Kate. A life of hardship and tragedy follows as the couple struggle to survive the harsh reality of a fugitive life. Martin tells his own moving story and each successive chapter introduces another character who takes over the continuing narrative throughout the trilogy.
A consummate storyteller, Norah Lofts’ sympathetic touch and ability to imbue each character with life involves the reader from the first to the last page. She convincingly recreates the historical era in which each character lives, not merely to set the scene but to add an understanding of why and how they act as they do. The vast scope of this trilogy involves the reader in a fascinating journey through time. Although life for some may become more comfortable, every age throws up new challenges and there are always winners and losers.
These latest editions of Norah Lofts historical novels, as readable today as when they were first issued, will surely please existing fans as well as introduce them to a new generation of readers.