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South Riding

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She feared that her daughter's depiction of local government, allied to the vein of satire and "puckish mischief" familiar from her earlier books, might expose her own job to criticism and ridicule. Yes, i remember it being a British production, shown on US tv by PBS as part of the Masterpiece Theater series, back in the 80s. There is old, clear tape to the exterior corners and spine ends as well as along the length of the spine edges and flap folds. While Holtby’s canvas is broad and ambitious, the characters themselves feel deeply personal and convincing. Good plus with moderate wear to covers and no marks to text, review and photo of the author tipped in on frond endpapers.

Sarah Burton is especially memorable: she's a spinster in her late 30s, but she's not a damaged or pitiable figure; she's energetic and optimistic, sociable and engaged with other people. As she explains to Alderman Mrs Beddows (whose "racy tongue" was borrowed from Holtby's mother): "If the growth of civilisation means anything, it means the gradual reduction of the areas ruled by chance – Providence, if you like.The character she informs is Joe, the sole socialist on the South Riding council; in the novel, Sarah meets him through a spirited political debate.

Showing how public decisions can mold the individual, this story offers a panoramic and unforgettable view of Yorkshire life. Set in a fictional district of Yorkshire in the early 1930s, South Riding is an epic, life-affirming novel which explores issues of poverty, social mobility and the value of education. In the novel, the next time they meet Sarah doesn't bring it up but the anger and embarrassment fuel her confrontational mood, with the result they have a full on fight about their usual issues, part in mutual anger, and since he then immediately has his fatal accident that makes everyone believe he committed suicide for a while, she feels awful and guilty, thinks about resigning and is talked out of it by Mrs Beddowes (the female alderman modelled after Holtby's mother). I think that is no small feat — usually an author shows somebody initially in one way and gradually throughout the book they morph more and more into that persona. Centred around a County Council, the novel illustrates how public decisions can mold the individual, at the same time offering a panoramic and unforgettable view of Yorkshire life.There are a large number of significant characters and the main characters don’t appear in large portions of the novel. As his farm continues to struggle, Carne must find a way of paying for the care of his troubled wife in a private mental institution, a commitment that represents a major drain on his resources. South Riding is a rich, panoramic novel, bringing vividly to life a rural community on the brink of change.

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