Yesterday’s Houses

When sixteen year old Marianne Flowers is invited to a party in a genteel house she has no idea that the house – and what she experiences there – including the stately bathroom – will change her life. Not to mention the boy who introduces her to red wine, sophisticated conversation and an apparently liberated future. But marriage to Charles turns out to be far from liberating and soon Marianne finds herself living in a basement flat, with a cramped, ignoble bathroom, and a way of life that is very far from her hopes, romantic or otherwise. Life, it seems, is going on elsewhere. But Charles’ mother starts feeding her with books – classics, feminist essays, fine literature – and soon Marianne realises that there is a whole, bright world unfolding before her. But how will this new, independently minded Marianne find her place in this brand new world?

Mavis Cheek’s twelfth novel shows her at the height of her powers in this poignant, funny account of a woman whose journey to freedom, independence and good quality plumbing will delight fans of her previous work.

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