Daughters of the House by Michele Roberts

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Synopsis

A Booker Prize Finalist, Daughters of the House is Michèle Roberts' acclaimed novel of secrets and lies revealed in the aftermath of World War II. Thérèse and Léonie, French and English cousins of the same age, grow up together in Normandy. Intrigued by parents' and servants' guilty silences and the broken shrine they find in the woods, the girls weave their own elaborate fantasies, unwittingly revealing the village secret and a deep shame that will haunt them in their adult lives.
 

About Michele Roberts

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Michèle Roberts is the author of twelve highly acclaimed novels, including The Looking Glass and Daughters of the House, which won the WH Smith Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Half English and half French, Roberts lives in London and in the Mayenne, France. She is Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia and was recently made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French government.
 
Published October 22, 2013 by Picador. 177 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Daughters of the House

Kirkus Reviews

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The final discovery--that Antoinette may have been impregnated by the man who betrayed the Jews, and that the cousins may actually be the twin offsprings of that act--separated ThÇräse and LÇonie for 20 years- -until the burden of their secret brings ThÇräse home to complete their story.

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Publishers Weekly

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This richly atmospheric tale of murder and adolescent rivalry between two cousins was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1992.

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Publishers Weekly

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In a lyrical but tersely controlled narrative, Roberts gradually reveals the events 20 years past when Therese Martin, whose parents owned the farm and spacious manor house near the village of Blemont in Normandy, withdrew into a convent after her mother's death and the impending marriage of her ...

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The Independent

It uses the saint's bourgeois Normandy home, her peasant foster-mother Ruth Taille, her mother's early death from cancer, her widowed father's doting on his 'little queen', her childhood sightings of the Virgin Mary, bossily appropriated by the Carmelite nuns.

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The Independent

Therese believes herself to be wholly French, Leonie is told that her father was an English journalist killed in the war;

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London Review of Books

She has gone far beyond temperance – the observation quoted above needn’t seem all that askew if you take it as a prescription for vegetarianism, not near-abstinence – into some ferocious realm of self-denial.

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