Nightingale WoodPaperback VMC
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- Publisher: Virago Press Ltd
- Format: Paperback | 400 pages
- Dimensions: 126mm x 198mm x 28mm | 322g
- Publication date: 2 April 2009
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 1844085724
- ISBN 13: 9781844085729
- Sales rank: 53,391
Life is not quite a fairytale for poor Viola. Left penniless, the young widow is forced to live with her late husband's family in a joyless old house. There's Mr Wither, a tyrannical old miser, Mrs Wither, who thinks Viola is just a common shop girl, and two unlovely sisters-in-law, one of whom is in love with the chauffeur. Only the prospect of the charity ball can raise Viola's spirits - especially as Victor Spring, the local prince charming, will be there. But Victor's intentions towards our Cinderella are, in short, not quite honourable ...
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Stella Dorothea Gibbons was born in London in 1902. She studied journalism at University College, London, and worked for ten years on various papers, including the Evening Standard. Her first novel Cold Comfort Farm (1932) was (and is) hugely successful. She married the actor and singer Allan Webb, who died in 1959. They had one daughter. Stella Gibbons died in 1989.
By Dianna Lang 25 Mar 2011
I love Cold Comfort Farm, one of my favourite books ever, and I think Stella Gibbons is a much under-rated author. This is ... ok. In fact, it's probably better than ok, but it's very difficult for any heroine to match Flora Poste, and to find any characters as deftly drawn as the Starkadders. If you are the type of reader who, finding an amazing book, wants to then read everything that author has ever written: go for it. If you're coming to Gibbons lookings for an Austen-like experience, you'll enjoy this one (although really, start with Cold Comfort Farm, it's fantastic).
NIGHTINGALE WOOD is in essence, a sprawling, delightful, eccentric fairy tale ... There is romance galore, a transformative dress, and a ball, much dizzy kissing in hedgerows and beyond, spying, retribution and runaways, fights and a fire, poetry and heartbreak, a few weddings AND funerals, and a fairytale ending with a twist. What luxury to stumble upon this quirky book, and the fascinating modern woman who wrote it. It is a rare unadulterated pleasure and high time for its encore Sophie Dahl