Cousins, mushrooms, and a baby dropped down a well

(15 Posts)
zzzzz Mon 05-Aug-13 00:00:22

I wonder if anyone can help me find a book. It was lent to me when I was 16 back in the 80's by a friend who had "borrowed" it from her brother. I would love to read it again but have no idea what it was called or who it was by!

Brief plot/info
I think it was translated, and set either in South Africa or South America (be kind I was VERY young and daft). A huge family live together with lots of cousins and servants. One day the all the parents go on a outing and don't come back. The children are left to create their own social structure and end up fed mushrooms by the servants which they think is human flesh. One pair of cousins have a baby and then a year later the parents return as though nothing had happened and chuck the baby down a well because it is "just a doll".

I know barking! I'm sure there was more sense to it than this but that's what I remember. I think it was called something like "A house in the Country", but can't find it.

Any ideas would be fantastic.

gordyslovesheep Mon 05-Aug-13 17:15:38

No idea and I have googled all different combinations - but I need to know now grin

DuchessofMalfi Mon 05-Aug-13 17:44:21

It isn't The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende is it? Long shot, don't know the story but it has house in the title and is set in South America smile

zzzzz Mon 05-Aug-13 19:36:22

Have looked at House of Spirits, not that one but have read the plot synopsis on Wiki. shock grin. I can see why you don't know the story. Good grief! I may have to buy it. wink

Thank you both. I am doomed never to find the book. I have been asking random people for years. I bet I find it when I'm eighty odd and it's a total disappointment.

Any other thoughts greatly received.

I think you're right with the title: A House in the Country by Jose Donoso, apparently it's an allegory for Pinochet's reign in Chile

zzzzz Mon 05-Aug-13 20:38:36

tilly I am speechless! THAT'S IT! Honestly nearly thirty years! I shall buy it and read it NOW.

Having read the description I am amazed that I understood any of it at all. Will I have to read up on Pinochet and Chile too?

Oh I am so excited. grin

Thank you thanks Thank you thanks Thank you thanks Thank you thanks Thank you thanks Thank you thanks Thank you thanks Thank you thanks Thank you thanks Thank you thanks Thank you thanks Thank you thanks Thank you thanks Thank you thanks Thank you thanks Thank you thanks

gordyslovesheep Mon 05-Aug-13 20:44:42

OMG how did you find that grin I can sleep tonight!

You're welcome grin

KurriKurri Tue 06-Aug-13 22:11:56

Wow - it sounds utterly bizarre - I have to read it! grin

zzzzz Tue 06-Aug-13 22:20:35

I remember it being really good. Enthral lying and unpredictable. A bit like stumbling onto "Watership Down" if you were expecting Beatrix Potter.

Tell me what you think if you read it. grin

zzzzz Tue 06-Aug-13 22:22:16

Enthralling, sorry!

i'm still slightly disturbed from reading the thorn birds age 14.

Is this a similar revelation?

I've never read The Thorn Birds - is it worth it?

I've put A House in the Country on my reserve list at the library!

it involves a priest and iirc an love affair with an underage girl. Its durtty in places but is actually a really good story following a family through several generations.

zzzzz Thu 08-Aug-13 00:35:43

Nothing like the Thornbirds.

I can't tell you what House in the Countries like because it was so long ago, but more weird and not at all steamy.

Thornbirds was one of those books we handed round at school (along with Lace, Flowers in the Attic, and Clan of the Cave Bears). It's a marvel we ever did any work at all!

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