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The Slaves of Solitude

Narrated by: Lucy Scott
Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4.5 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

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Summary

Measuring out the wartime days in a small town on the Thames, Miss Roach is not unattractive but no longer quite young. The Rosamund Tea Rooms boarding house, where she lives with half a dozen others, is as grey and lonely as its residents. For Miss Roach, 'slave of her task-master, solitude', a shaft of not altogether welcome light is suddenly beamed upon her, with the appearance of a charismatic and emotional American Lieutenant. With him comes change - tipping the precariously balanced society of the house and presenting Miss Roach herself with a dilemma.

©1947 Patrick Hamilton (P)2017 Little Brown Book Group

Critic reviews

"All his novels are terrific, but this one is my favourite." (Sarah Waters) 

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Superb reading

Lucy Scott is a successful actress I believe & her talent shines brightly in the reading of this brilliant novel. Each of the many characters, including an American & a German, has their own voice both subtle & strong. Scott is clearly one of those audiobook readers that prompt you to follow their work. As for the book itself, its a masterpiece. Hamilton was recognised in his lifetime but I'm surprised he's not more famous today. How many writers could take a rivalry between two middle aged spinsters living in an English boarding house and turn it into a novel like this, one which is both an exquisite study of manners & a rivetting thriller?

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Boarding House Tensions in the Uncertainty of War

Set outside WW2 London, this tale is a wonderful portrayal of people (still in the age of deference) trying their best to rub alongside relative strangers when thrown together in the adult version of evacuation. Hamilton's observation and ear for dialogue come across very well thanks to Lucy Scott's excellent narration. Without spoiling the story, there are characters and behaviours you imagine Hamilton hopes and expects us to dislike and Scott really assists this process. Age, gender and accent pose absolutely no problems for her.

1 person found this helpful