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Summary

Invalided out of the army at the end of the Second World War, Matthew Wallingham wonders what place there is in a new social order for a blind man, even if he is a decorated war hero. He has the sympathy of family and friends, but it seems the only person who can help him is his nurse, Liz. When he arrives home, however, he realises that his family have their problems too.
©2014 Catherine Cookson (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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  • Chloe
  • Coventry UK
  • 28-06-16

Not one of her finest

I know that Catherine Cookson has fallen out of favour in recent years after her long unchallenged reign as the bestselling British author, but I find myself returning to her novels every once in a while, like a comfort blanket in book form. There is nothing particularly challenging about her stories and they tend to follow a fairly predictable path, but they are eminently readable and Cookson's ability to write flawed, believable, likeable characters is second to none.
Having said this, I probably would not return to A House Divided that soon. Compared to novels such as The Glass Virgin or A Dinner of Herbs, which I find I can read multiple times, A House Divided lacked the spark that engages the reader and by the end I was getting a little bored. The main issue is that there is never any real obstacle to the main characters' love story - everybody loves Matthew despite his blindness, everybody loves Liz despite her lower class, Liz and Matthew love each other, the horrible ex-fiancé is dispatched quickly etc. There are none of the usual Cookson twists or self-realisations that make her novels so entertaining.
I believe that Cookson wrote this not long before her death and I think it shows - she tends to repeat herself a bit too often and the novel is overlong - it could have done with a good edit to be honest, and this might have overcome some of its shortcomings.
Having said this, it is still an entertaining story of its type and I don't regret my purchase. I wish Audible would offer a wider range of her other novels now - groundbreaking they are not, but when you need to immerse yourself into a comfortable rags to riches love story, her tales can't be beaten!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Very enjoyable. read very well.

I could not wait to hear the next chapter. I had read the book many years ago. But it is very relaxing to have it read to me.

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  • Winifred
  • 14-05-07

A House Divided

Pure Catherine Cookson! The author paints her characters with a clear and compassionate style. She creates them so well that you care deeply about some of them, abhore the behavior of others and, when you know you are coming to the conclusion of the story - makes you wish the book would never end!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Customer
  • 15-02-16

one of my favorites

wonderful love story set right after the 2nd World War. Truly British, giving us an insight of the onset of the disappearance of the old class system at the time. There is plenty of action that kept me at the edge of my seat. I hope Audible will publish many more of Catherine Cookson's books in audible form beyond the few available now, for me each one is a treat.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • homeskoolmom
  • 21-07-18

Love the book and love the narrator!

I read this book originally several years ago from the library. I found it again two years ago on Audible and thought I would try it. Some narrators leave me wanting to read the book myself, others are just okay but Susan Jameson made the story come alive and her voices were perfect. Love this book/narrator!

In a nutshell: War vet. Matthew Wallingham comes home blind and is in the hospital where he meets a nurse named Liz. He is on the point of a breakdown when Liz comes to his aid. When he questions her she tells him she is an older, plain and comfortable woman so he has no fears that she looks down on him for his crying jag. Matthew turns the corner after that night and our story begins. Matthew is from an old aristocratic and wealthy family and Liz is from a middle class farming family.
There are many twists and turns in this lovely story of redemption, healing and betrayal. Susan Jameson makes each character come alive on the canvas of your mind. Enjoy!