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Park Lane

Osborne, Frances (Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5.
Park Lane
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"When eighteen-year-old Grace Campbell arrives in London in 1914, she's unable to fulfill her family's ambitions and find a position as an office secretary. Lying to her parents and her brother, Michael, she takes a job as a housemaid at Number 35, Park Lane, where she is quickly caught up in lives of its inhabitants-- in particular, those of its privileged son, Edward, and daughter, Beatrice, who is recovering from a failed relationship that would have taken her away from an increasingly stifling life. Desperate to find a new purpose, Bea joins a group of radical suffragettes and strikes up an intriguing romance with an impassioned young lawyer. Unbeknownst to each of the young women, the choices they make amid the rapidly changing world of WWI will connect their chances at future happiness in dramatic and inevitable ways" -- p. [4] of cover.
Authors: Osborne, Frances
Title: Park Lane
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books/Random House, Inc., 2012
Characteristics: 322 p. ; 21 cm
Notes: "A Vintage Books original"--T.p. verso
Summary: "When eighteen-year-old Grace Campbell arrives in London in 1914, she's unable to fulfill her family's ambitions and find a position as an office secretary. Lying to her parents and her brother, Michael, she takes a job as a housemaid at Number 35, Park Lane, where she is quickly caught up in lives of its inhabitants-- in particular, those of its privileged son, Edward, and daughter, Beatrice, who is recovering from a failed relationship that would have taken her away from an increasingly stifling life. Desperate to find a new purpose, Bea joins a group of radical suffragettes and strikes up an intriguing romance with an impassioned young lawyer. Unbeknownst to each of the young women, the choices they make amid the rapidly changing world of WWI will connect their chances at future happiness in dramatic and inevitable ways" -- p. [4] of cover.
ISBN: 0345803280
9780345803283
Branch Call Number: Fiction
Statement of Responsibility: Frances Osborne
Subject Headings: Women household employees England London Fiction Women England London Fiction
Genre/Form: Historical fiction
Loves stories
Topical Term: Women household employees
Women
LCCN: 2012013545
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Jan 04, 2014
  • jazpur rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Frances Osborne should have a head start in writing historical fiction about the period of British history 1914-23. She is the great granddaughter of Idina Sackville, the original Bolter,of Nancy Mitford fame about whom she has written so movingly in a non fiction biography of that name. She has her own family history and its anecdotes to call on.This novel has a Downton Abbey- Upstairs Downstairs feel to it but tends to be predictable.All the issues of social change: the position of women in Society and the workforce, changes in clothing, the development of the typewriter,suffrage,the generation of men lost in the War, industrial unrest and the rise of socialism,form the backbone of her novel.A Bolter on her way to Mombasa is included. It is by no means joyful as to outcome.There is a growing fictional genre currently being produced by writers both sides of the Atlantic, fascinated with the themes and events of this time.It began with Pat Barker and AS Byatt and now includes Jo Baker, Charles Todd, Deanna Raybourn and Lauren Willig among others.This book probably fits within that genre but not well.I think I prefer the factual version of the biography which is far stranger than fiction.The author's notes at the end make interesting reading.

Jun 22, 2013
  • cecilyfisher rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I found this book disappointing. The characters were hard to warm to, but even so, their stories deserved a more satisfactory outcome than they were given! And too many storylines were left unresolved. The background info. about the suffragettes and suffragists, and ambulance driving in WWI, was interesting, however.

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