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My Life in Houses by Margaret Forster
  

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Perhaps those “in charge” could spare the time to read My Life in Houses to remind them how housing is fundamental not just for protection from the elements but as a home, a place to be ourselves. To be harried from let to let isn’t good for family life, for children or for the community. You are made even more aware of the protection of a house when Margaret Forster recalls her time with cancer and her house became a longed-for refuge. Home and family from Carlisle to London – with side journeys into other houses, a wonderful portrayal of home and what it means to us. ~ Sue Baker


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The House by the Thames: and the People Who Lived There, Gillian Tindall
Home: The Story of Everyone Who Ever Lived in Our House, Julie Myerson

If you like Margaret Forster you might also like to read books by Anne Tyler, Rose Tremain and Maureen Duffy.


The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Margaret Forster begins this memoir, which centres on the houses she has lived in from childhood to the present day, with a quotation from Leonard Woolf: ‘…what has the deepest and most permanent effect upon oneself and one’s way of living is the house in which one lives. The house determines the day-to-day, minute-to-minute quality, colour, atmosphere, pace of one’s life; it is the framework of what one does, of what one can do, of one’s relations with people…’ As she catalogues her various dwelling-places from the family home in Carlisle to the initially unpromising London house in which she would raise her own children and which would become so much more to her than mere bricks and mortar, so she reflects on the nature and significance of ‘home’. Quietly compelling, straightforward but profound, this book is an unsentimental but affecting life story with a difference.
~ Karen Howlett

Synopsis

My Life in Houses by Margaret Forster

'I was born on 25th May, 1938, in the front bedroom of a house in Orton Road, a house on the outer edges of Raffles, a council estate. I was a lucky girl.' So begins Margaret Forster's journey through the houses she's lived in, from that sparkling new council house, to her beloved London home of today. This is not a book about bricks and mortar though. This is a book about what houses are to us, the effect they have on the way we live our lives and the changing nature of our homes: from blacking grates and outside privies; to cities dominated by bedsits and lodgings; to the houses of today converted back into single dwellings. Finally, it is a gently insistent, personal inquiry into the meaning of home.


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Reviews

'I was truly moved by Margaret Forster's ingeniously structured and beautifully written memoir... A really wonderful book' -- Juliet Nicolson Evening Standard BOOKS OF THE YEAR

'A beautiful exploration of her life in relation to the homes she has made'
Rachel Joyce Observer BOOKS OF THE YEAR

'Such a clever idea. It's a memoir sited in bricks and mortar... social and personal history spliced together' -- Penelope Lively Guardian BOOKS OF THE YEAR

'Until its shocking, throat-catching end, this latest book is a deceptively simple trek evoking everywhere [Margaret Forster] has lived' -- Melanie Reid The Times

'Reads like one of Forster's well-loved novels: full of sharp observation and gentle wit' -- Bel Mooney Daily Mail

'In both books and homes, we find wry humour and a great deal of poignancy' -- Sarah Franklin Sunday Express

About the Author

Margaret Forster

Born in Carlisle, Margaret Forster is the author of many successful and acclaimed novels, including Have the Men Had Enough?, Lady's Maid, Diary of an Ordinary Woman, Is There Anything You Want?, Keeping the World Away, and Over, bestselling memoirs (Hidden Lives and Precious Lives) and biographies. She died in February 2016.

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Book Info

Publication date

25th February 2016

Author

Margaret Forster

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Publisher

Vintage an imprint of Vintage Publishing

Format

Paperback
272 pages

Categories

Biography / Autobiography
The Real World
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Memoirs
Houses, apartments, flats, etc

ISBN

9780099593973

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