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It's hard to describe D.E. Stevenson's stories to anyone who hasn't read them themselves. If you find the Joan Hickson / Miss Marple episodes show a long-gone English village life, Ms Stevenson does the same for the borders of Scotland. My beloved Aunts and Great-aunts grew up around the turn of the 19/20th C. These books bring my childhood memories of them back to life. This particular book I discovered around the age of 12 and I still enjoy it. Both Celias, the original and her great-great niece, belong to the house of the title, Dunnian, far more than the house belongs to them. 'Family saga' is a phrase more often associated with descriptions like 'sprawling' and 'tumultuous'. This isn't either, it's a believable family and a gentle story as warm and comforting on a cold night as some of Mrs Drummond's baking fresh from the oven. As another reviewer has said, the story is an homage to Mansfield Park in parts, but that doesn't detract. There are all sorts of audiobooks available, and this is the one for when you want some gentle and comforting unashamed nostalgia.
What a delight! Another audiobook by author D. E. Stevenson. This is one of her Family Sagas, a story of life in the Southern area of Scotland known as "The Boarders". Lesley Mackie's reading, with her soft Scots accent is perfect. Understandable to the American listener, but with enough "Scots" in it to lend atmosphere! This story blends a gentle homage to Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, with noticable plot parallels, with some additional plot lines. Most notable of these is how the elder "Celia", by leaving her house to her not yet born great neice, "Celia", hopes to change the pattern of her life and find love in the new generation.
I purchased and downloaded and listened to this story as quickly as possible, and now I will have to listen again and hope that Lesley Mackie is invited to do the "partner" title to this one, Listening Valley.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
D. E. Stevenson wrote a number of absolutely delightful books, mostly set in the lowlands of Scotland. You come to know the characters well and are very interested in what happens to them. Several books have characters in common and there are even some with sequels, but each is good on its own and can stand alone without the reader having any knowledge of any of the others. This book is one who shares some characters with other stories, but knowing those other stories is in no way essential.
Lesley Mackie does a wonderful job reading these books and plays a big role in making the whole experience enjoyable.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful