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The Brontes Went to Woolworths (1931)

por Rachel Ferguson

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4944749,502 (3.69)237
'How I loathe that kind of novel which is about a lot of sisters'; so proclaims Deirdre at the beginning of The Brontes Went to Woolworths, one of three sisters. London, 1931. As growing up looms large in the lives of the Carne sisters, Deirdre, Katrine and young Sheil still share an insatiable appetite for the fantastic. Eldest sister Deirdre is a journalist, Katrine a fledgling actress and young Sheil is still with her governess; together they live a life unchecked by their mother in their bohemian town house. Irrepressibly imaginative, the sisters cannot resist making up stories as they have done since childhood; from their talking nursery toys, Ironface the Doll and Dion Saffyn the pierrot, to their fulsomely-imagined friendship with real high-court Judge Toddington who, since Mrs Carne did jury duty, they affectionately called Toddy. However, when Deirdre meets Toddy's real-life wife at a charity bazaar, the sisters are forced to confront the subject of their imaginings. Will the sisters cast off the fantasies of childhood forever? Will Toddy and his wife, Lady Mildred, accept these charmingly eccentric girls? And when fancy and reality collide, who can tell whether Ironface can really talk, whether Judge Toddington truly wears lavender silk pyjamas or whether the Brontes did indeed go to Woolworths? The Brontes Went to Woolworths is part of The Bloomsbury Group, a new library of books from the early twentieth-century chosen by readers for readers.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 49 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Expected this to be a quirky read, but instead it was downright weird. ( )
  Alishadt | Feb 25, 2023 |
A pretty even mix of sweet and strange.

This is a story about a very offbeat but close knit family.

I think when most people are kids they make up stories about people, maybe some are imaginary and some are real people you see in passing and imagine the lives of. I did this as a little kid sometimes, but not as an adult.

So, that's something you're either going to find charming or odd about these characters.
They are all creative types, oldest sister Deidre is a writer and middle sister Katrine is an actress. They are both in their twenties. They, along with their mother, tell little stories to the youngest, eleven year old Sheil.

Many of their stories are about "Toddy". They kind of see him as a bit of a celebrity. He features in their stories a lot, including fictional phone calls every night.

But one day Deidre actually meets "Toddy". What began as an almost fictionalized character in her life is now a very real man.
When "Toddy" meets the rest of the family, it could unravel their little storybook world or if could enrich it.

( )
  Mishale1 | Dec 29, 2018 |
Although this book did make me chuckle from time to time, it really wasn't my cup of tea. In my teen years, my good friend Ruthie and I had a routine of nonsense that we could banter back and forth with for hours; anyone eavesdropping on our conversations would have thought we were certifiably nuts, and would have made no sense of it whatsoever. We populated our private world with characters from radio programs, books and movies, quoted comedy routines at odd moments, and seamlessly mixed fact with fantasy. The feeling I had much of the time while reading this book was that I was on the outside of just such a private conversation, chock full of inside jokes I wasn't party to. I remember it being so much more fun than this.
Review written in 2008 ( )
2 vote laytonwoman3rd | Jun 2, 2016 |
I bought this on the strength of the title and the first page, knowing nothing else about it.

Deirdre (a journalist), Katrine (an actress-in-training), Sheil (their eleven year old sister) and their mother have a habit of talking, amongst themselves, as if they were closely acquainted with people who they have never met.
They tell each other stories about these supposed-friends, about what their friends do and say, and it is very confusing for Sheil's poor governess. And the reader, who has to read between the lines to distinguish between reality and fantasy.

And then it becomes confusing for the Carne family, once they actually become acquainted with some of their previously-imaginary friends.

Not quite what I was expecting, but I was glad I read it, if only because it was so very different from everything else.

A woman at one of mother's parties once said to me, "Do you like reading?" which smote us all to silence, for how could one tell her that books are like having a bath, or sleeping, or eating bread - absolute necessities which one never thinks of in terms of appreciation. ( )
1 vote Herenya | Mar 31, 2016 |
The story centers on three sisters and their widowed mother in 1920s London. They are an intensely close-knit family; so close, in fact, that their shared imaginary friends and in-jokes are nearly impenetrable to outsiders. I loved the characters and felt as though I knew them, or had been them. It's an interesting, literate, occasionally surreal tale about a quartet of fascinating women. I liked the review here. ( )
1 vote wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Rachel Fergusonautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Beech, PenelopeArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Byatt, A SIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Morris, SarahDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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To
Rose Geraldine Ferguson
and to our 'Horry'
about whom we know nothing
and everything
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How I loathe that kind of novel which is about a lot of sisters.
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'How I loathe that kind of novel which is about a lot of sisters'; so proclaims Deirdre at the beginning of The Brontes Went to Woolworths, one of three sisters. London, 1931. As growing up looms large in the lives of the Carne sisters, Deirdre, Katrine and young Sheil still share an insatiable appetite for the fantastic. Eldest sister Deirdre is a journalist, Katrine a fledgling actress and young Sheil is still with her governess; together they live a life unchecked by their mother in their bohemian town house. Irrepressibly imaginative, the sisters cannot resist making up stories as they have done since childhood; from their talking nursery toys, Ironface the Doll and Dion Saffyn the pierrot, to their fulsomely-imagined friendship with real high-court Judge Toddington who, since Mrs Carne did jury duty, they affectionately called Toddy. However, when Deirdre meets Toddy's real-life wife at a charity bazaar, the sisters are forced to confront the subject of their imaginings. Will the sisters cast off the fantasies of childhood forever? Will Toddy and his wife, Lady Mildred, accept these charmingly eccentric girls? And when fancy and reality collide, who can tell whether Ironface can really talk, whether Judge Toddington truly wears lavender silk pyjamas or whether the Brontes did indeed go to Woolworths? The Brontes Went to Woolworths is part of The Bloomsbury Group, a new library of books from the early twentieth-century chosen by readers for readers.

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