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any ideas re. books that might appeal to someone who enjoyed The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox?

(15 Posts)
edam Tue 06-Oct-09 21:07:00

or whatever it is called? My brilliant wonderful godmother is 90 and I'm thinking about buying her a book for a present (as well as flowers and wine and chocs etc. etc.).

She likes social history - her late husband was an historian and godmother has been very involved in all kinds of social issues herself – tramped the streets with her mother to raise funds for the very first Marie Stopes clinic in Manchester.

My brain is blank, so I just wondered if anyone might have any bright ideas...

squeaver Tue 06-Oct-09 21:14:26

Well Maggie O'Farrell's other books are very good, but they're not really in the history/social history area (more like literary chick lit).

What about Atonement?

Or Birdsong?

FlyingMonkey Tue 06-Oct-09 21:31:20

The Secret History by Sebastian Barry.

edam Tue 06-Oct-09 22:21:37

ooh thank you guys - sorry, got called away by the phone and then distracted by a minor row with dh.

Will look at Barry. And obv. the rest of Maggie O'F (doh!). Not sure about Atonement, she's not really into reading about toffs as far as I know. And may well have read Birdsong anyway. Actually that's reminded me to ask her about WW1 - she was born in '19, so presumably her father or close relatives must have been involved...

squeaver Wed 07-Oct-09 12:09:33

I also thought of the crimson petal and the white. Set in Victorian times, but it's quite raunchy...

shandyleer Wed 07-Oct-09 14:53:09

What about something like "Nella Last's War" or the Provincial Lady diaries?

JeffVadar Thu 08-Oct-09 15:54:40

There is a book called 'Singled Out' by Virginia Nicholson on the subject of women between the wars. It is non-fiction, about how they started to find independence because so many young men were killed in WW1, but very readable.

Also, 'The Testament of Youth' by Vera Brittain perhaps.

elkiedee Sun 11-Oct-09 01:42:46

Jennifer Worth's memoirs of working as an East End midwife in the 50s - Call the Midwife, Farewell to the East End (Shadows of the Workhouse is the 2nd but 1st and 3rd better).

Sarah Waters' novels

elkiedee Sun 11-Oct-09 01:44:04

Have just been reading a thread in this section about Persephone books as well. See for some seriously tempting stuff.

Vintagepommery Mon 12-Oct-09 11:45:49

The Rose of Sebastebol by Katherine McMahon - there's some social history in there as well as bits on the Crimean War - not such a quick read as Esme Lennox though.

FlyingMonkey Tue 13-Oct-09 12:30:18

Your grandmother might enjoy 'The Tea Rose' and 'The Winter Rose' by Jennifer Donnelly. They are quite 'fluffy' compared to the Esme Lennox book but I recall that one of the main characters in 'The Winter Rose' is a female doctor who starts a womens clinic.

Linnet Sat 17-Oct-09 00:35:51

The secret scripture by Sebastian Barry is good.

pollywobbledoodle Tue 20-Oct-09 22:25:55

i'd third the secret scripture

what about the night watch by sarah waters....ww2 and after....(a few female homosexual characters...i only mention that in case she isn't that broadminded)

BeckyBook Mon 26-Oct-09 16:03:30

Sorry, coming to this late, but has she read Can Any Mother Help Me?
Sounds like something she would love. I would also second the Jennifer Worth trilogy.

wrongsideof40 Tue 27-Oct-09 23:32:40

The Siege - or anything by Helen Dunmore ?

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