9780141182308

A Month in the Country (Penguin Modern Classics)

Carr, J. L.

ISBN 10: 014118230X / 0-14-118230-X
ISBN 13: 9780141182308
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Publication Date: 2000
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
In the summer of 1920 two men, both war survivors meet in the quiet English countryside. One is living in the church, intent upon uncovering and restoring an historical wall painting while the other camps in the next field in search of a lost grave. Out of their meeting, comes a deeper communion and a catching up of the old primeval rhythms of life so cruelly disorientated by the Great War.

Review:
Any good reader has, well, had it with novels of healing. The culture of confession has given rise to novels that begin with an unspeakable act (graphically described) and end in redemption (this part is usually more vague). That's not how it works in J.L. Carr's quiet, brief, dreamy A Month in the Country. Writing in 1978, Carr's narrator, Tom Birkin, recalls the summer of 1920. A veteran of the Great War and a cuckold, Tom arrives in Oxgodby to restore a medieval mural in the church. His single season in this town in the north of England passes quickly: he sleeps in the belfry, makes a friend or two, falls secretly in love with the vicar's wife, and, chipping away at plaster and dirt, uncovers a lost masterpiece. These events seem to melt past Tom in the heat of the perfect, fleeting English summer: "The front gardens of cottages were crammed with marjoram and roses, marguerites, sweet William, at night heavy with the scent of stocks. The Vale was heavy with leaves, motionless in the early morning, black caves of shadow in the midday heat, blurring the sound of trains hammering north and south."

Carr devotes many fewer words to Tom's time in the war. The vicar's wife tries to ask him about it. "'What about hell on earth?' she said. I told her I'd seen it and lived there and that, mercifully, they usually left an exit open." His healing consists of not talking about his past--perhaps a revolutionary notion these days. A Month in the Country, with its paean to a lost, good place, oddly recalls Alain-Fournier's Le Grand Meaulnes. But where that novel was elliptical, Carr's work values clarity and simplicity above all. These are rare enough qualities, but to find them in a novel of romance and healing is a rarer pleasure still. --Claire Dederer

Review

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Carr, J. L.
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Book Description: Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 192 x 126 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. In the summer of 1920 two men, both war survivors meet in the quiet English countryside. One is living in the church, intent upon uncovering and restoring an historical wall painting while the other camps in the next field in search of a lost grave. Out of their meeting, comes a deeper communion and a catching up of the old primeval rhythms of life so cruelly disorientated by the Great War. Bookseller Inventory # AAU9780141182308

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Book Description: Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 192 x 126 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. In the summer of 1920 two men, both war survivors meet in the quiet English countryside. One is living in the church, intent upon uncovering and restoring an historical wall painting while the other camps in the next field in search of a lost grave. Out of their meeting, comes a deeper communion and a catching up of the old primeval rhythms of life so cruelly disorientated by the Great War. Bookseller Inventory # AAU9780141182308

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Book Description: 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. This brand new copy of A Month in the Country by Penelope Fitzgerald is waiting for you in our UK warehouse. If you order before 1pm on a working day, we'll get it in today's post. Otherwise we'll post it on the next working day. Simple no nonsense service from Wordery. UK delivery is within 3 or 4 working days. International delivery varies by country. Bookseller Inventory # 9780141182308

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Book Description: Penguin Books Ltd Penguin Classics, 2000. paperback. Book Condition: New. *** NEW COPY *** TITLE SHIPPED FROM UK *** Binding paperback A damaged survivor of the First World War, Tom Birkin finds refuge in the village church of Oxgodby where he is to spend the summer uncovering a huge medieval wall-painting. Immersed in the peace and beauty of the countryside and the unchanging. Bookseller Inventory # 014118230X

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