The Passing Bells
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The Passing Bells : A Novel

3.78 (1,532 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Before Downton Abbey, there was Abingdon Pryory, the elegant country home of the Grevilles-a titled English family who, along with their servants, see their world turned upside down when England goes to war. Once their well-kept lawns and whirling social seasons give way to the horrors of World War I, no one, upstairs or downstairs, is left untouched. For fans of sweeping historical fiction, the reissue of Phillip Rock's New York Times bestseller The Passing Bells is a breathtaking family saga not to be missed.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 544 pages
  • 132.08 x 198.12 x 35.56mm | 408.23g
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • William Morrow Paperbacks
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0062229311
  • 9780062229311
  • 262,553

Review quote

"A capacity to shock, to astonish, and to engage . . . written throughout with economy and wit." -- New York Times Book Review "Swift and startling power . . . moving . . . entertaining . . . can absorb you into its fictional landscape as easily as Alice passing through the looking glass." -- Chicago Tribune Book World "Well-written, exciting . . . echoes of Hemingway, Graves, and `Upstairs, Downstairs,' with characters who breathe and about whom one cares." -- Library Journal "Spellbinding. This is really a start-reading-and-don't-stop-until-you're-finished-novel." -- Publishers Weekly "Every twenty-five years or so, we are blessed with a war novel, outstanding in that it depicts not only the history of our time, but also its soul." -- West Coast Review of Books "Fascinating . . . a timeless tale of the conflicts that emerge from a violent change. It is a delight to read." -- Cleveland Press
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Back cover copy

The guns of August are rumbling throughout Europe in the summer of 1914, but war has not yet touched Abingdon Pryory. Here, at the grand home of the Greville family, the parties, dances, and romances play on. Alexandra Greville embarks on her debutante season while brother Charles remains hopelessly in love with the beautiful, untitled Lydia Foxe, knowing that his father, the Earl of Stanmore, will never approve of the match. Downstairs the new servant, Ivy, struggles to adjust to the routines of the well-oiled household staff, as the arrival of American cousin Martin Rilke, a Chicago newspaperman, causes a stir.

But, ultimately, the Great War will not be denied, as what begins for the high-bred Grevilles as a glorious adventure soon takes its toll--shattering the household's tranquillity, crumbling class barriers, and bringing its myriad horrors home.
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About Phillip Rock

Born in Hollywood, California, Phillip Rock lived in England with his family until the blitz of 1940. He spent his adult years in Los Angeles and published three novels before the Passing Bells series: Flickers, The Dead in Guanajuato, and The Extraordinary Seaman. He died in 2004.
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Rating details

1,532 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 24% (372)
4 42% (637)
3 25% (381)
2 7% (100)
1 3% (42)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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