Evenfield by the late English author Rachel Ferguson, an early 20th century journalist and novelist whom Booker Prize-winning author A. S. Byatt cites as a literary influence, is her vintage literary fiction novel with comedic elements, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Dean Street Press.
This was originally published in 1942 by Jonathan Cape, and this new edition has a retrospective introductory foreword about the author’s works, by social historian Elizabeth Crawford, who has contributed to the official British government history blog. This humorous literary fiction novel follows a woman’s quest to re-create the joys of her childhood past in the nostalgically remembered suburban home in which she grew up, by leasing the old house and undoing the changes made to it in the meantime. But in the process of whatever the opposite of renovating it is, she discovers various things about memory, experience, and change, and that in some ways, you can never really go home again.
Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.
Free for a limited time, available worldwide @ Amazon
This book was written for those who don’t despise children’s parties, Edwardian actresses, dancing classes and the scent of lilac over sun-warmed fences.
Barbara Morant spent a crucial part of her childhood in the unremarkable suburban house which lends this novel its name. For her siblings, it’s merely a place to live; for her mother, it’s a symbol of the provincial drudgery of suburban living. But for Barbara, the house and the routines of those years are invested with a halo of happiness, and she yearns for them long after the family’s return to London.
Her obsessive nostalgia, the pursuit of her childhood joys, lead her to attempt a recreation of the past. She leases the house, undoes the changes made in the intervening years, and moves in, only to find the past irretrievably changed and changed by her later knowledge and experiences.
Lushly packed with domestic detail and references to popular culture, household products, advertisements, songs, décor, and pastimes, Evenfield provides us with a hilarious but surprisingly profound exploration of childhood and the way it’s remembered (and misremembered) by adults, and of the vanity of searching for lost time. Rachel Ferguson – known for earlier classics The Brontës Went to Woolworth’s, A Footman for the Peacock and Alas, Poor Lady – gives us here her own unique variation on Proust. This new edition includes an introduction by social historian Elizabeth Crawford.