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Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee
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Cider with Rosie (1959)

by Laurie Lee

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Laurie Lee's Autobiographies (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,092454,561 (3.89)1 / 252
  1. 00
    Every Day Was Summer by Oliver Wynne Hughes (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Both books look back a both happy and sad times growing up in small villages in the UK.
  2. 00
    Precious Bane by Mary Webb (KayCliff)
  3. 00
    A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Very similar, poetic writing style that tries to convey memories of childhood in rural Britain through an imaginative child's eyes.
  4. 00
    The Taste of Apple Seeds by Katharina Hagena (_eskarina)
    _eskarina: Although different in many aspects, apples, memories and some strange and beautiful melancholia make these books similar.
  5. 01
    Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury (Michael.Rimmer)
  6. 01
    On the Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin (PilgrimJess)
    PilgrimJess: Another tale of country life but one set in Wales this time.
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English (43)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (45)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
The Edge of Day: a Boyhood in the West of England hasn’t got quite the same ring as Cider with Rosie but it is the same book for the American market. It seems hard to believe that growing up in rural Gloucestershire was like this not so long ago. It is a different age but the trials, tribulations and emotions of growing up are the same.
  jon1lambert | Sep 27, 2018 |
3.5-stars Rounded Up.

Cider With Rosie is a memoir of Laurie Lee’s life in the Cotswolds immediately following World War I, and reminded me of A. J. Cronin’s The Green Years, being told by a young boy of a poor family. I thought this book was quite lovely in places and a bit bogged down in others. It had marvelous potential that it dropped just short of reaching.

There is a story about two “grannies” who live next door to the Lee family, rivals and grudging enemies, their story made me think of two elderly women I knew when I was a child myself.
Speaking of Granny Trill he says, ”although she had a clock, she kept it simply for the tick, its hands having dropped off years ago. This seemed to sum up a lot of the aura around this book, a kind of unmeasured timelessness.

Another story of an elderly couple who were removed, quite against their wishes, to the workhouse, dredged up shades of Dickens and the cruelty of age in a society where few could care for their own needs and even fewer could take on the burden of caring for another. These stories were marvelous written and poignant and gave me a true sense of the life in this small village before the advent of machinery and automobiles opened it to the greater world.

On the other hand, there are long passages about church festivals and group outings that, while interesting, seem to plod on past their necessity. It is this disjointed meandering that keeps this book from earning a higher rating from me.

I must say that this is a rather short, quick read and has enough to make it a worthwhile read. I would never discourage anyone from reading it and would wholly recommend it as a nice way to get a true feeling for life in a small English village in the early parts of the twentieth century. ( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
This is Lee's autobiography of his childhood, from his first memories to when his older sisters began marrying. His first memories are from the end of WWI, an era when horses, the Squire, walking 4 miles to the shops, playing instruments for entertainment, and leaving school at 14 were the norm. This book is also a bit of a love letter to a thousands-year-old lifestyle he was one of the last to experience. By the time he was 12 (1920s), cars existed. Soon busses came to town, horses were not so needed, radios took over from instruments. School became more standardized. The squire died and his nephew split the land. No longer was a trip to Gloucester or the sea an annual (if that) experience. No longer was there a 4-mile walk to town. People began to leave, rather than stay in the same town as their grandparents.

Lee realized his memories were not just his missing his childhood--he was also missing the fact that no one in England has that childhood any more.
———
Fun fact: the back of my lbrary copy says "Recalling life in a remote Costwold village some 50 years ago." My edition was printed in 1979 from a 1962 original (constant reprints from 62 to 79). So, it is itself 35 years old now. Lee was born in 1914, so we are approaching 100 years from the first memories in this book.

(Very sweet, mom might like this.) ( )
  Dreesie | Jan 6, 2018 |
Beautifully written reminiscences of growing up in a village in the Cotswolds in the 1920s. ( )
  encephalical | Jan 6, 2018 |
I was forced to read 'Cider With Rosie' when I was at school, back when I was maybe twelve or thirteen. The thing is, I simply can't remember. I know that we had to read it in our English class, but of the plot or characters I could have told you nothing - hence my desire to re-read the book.

'Cider With Rosie' is a pleasant read, crammed to bursting with magnificently-carved sentences and knowing allusions. It makes real a life and time that have long since disappeared from England, of village living when the cities were on the cusp of their outwards explosion.

Though I am glad to have read the book, and can now tell people what it is about - a feat I couldn't have managed, I'm sure, on that distant first reading - I have to wonder who would have chosen this as a book to be studied at school. Fascinating though it is, it is at once to close and to remote to be of interest to anyone going through school themselves. When you're twelve or so you don't want to read about the lives lived by twelve-year-olds a hundred years ago, you want to escape into fantasy. You have to be older - like I am now - to get much from such a book. ( )
  soylentgreen23 | Jan 5, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laurie Leeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Grove, ValerieIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my brothers and sisters--the half and the whole
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I was set down from the carrier's cart at the age of three; and there with a sense of bewilderment and terror my life in the village began.
Quotations
The scullery was a mine of all the minerals of living. |Here I discovered water -- a very different element from the green crawling scum that stank in the garden tub. You could pump it in pure blue gulps out of the ground, you could swing on the pump handle and it came out sparkling like liquid sky. And it broke and ran and shone on the tiled floor, or quivered in a jug, or weighted your clothes with cold. You could drink it, draw with it, froth it with soap, swim beetles across it, or fly it in bubbles in the air. You could put your head in it, and open your eyes, and see the sides of the bucket buckle, and hear your caught breath roar, and work your mouth like a fish, and smell the lime from the ground. Substance of magic -- which you could tear or wear, confine or scatter, or send down holes, but never burn or break or destroy.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140016821, Paperback)

A re-issue of the evocative and nostalgic account of Lee's country childhood in a secluded Cotswold valley. Lee describes a vanished rural world of village schools and church outings but also touches on the darker side of village life as it comes into contact with murder, rape, suicide and depression.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:44 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

At all times wonderfully evocative and poignant,Cider With Rosieis a charming memoir of Laurie Lee's childhood in a remote Cotswold village, a world that is tangibly real and yet reminiscent of a now distant past. In this idyllic pastoral setting, unencumbered by the callous father who so quickly abandoned his family responsibilities, Laurie's adoring mother becomes the centre of his world as she struggles to raise a growing family against the backdrop of the Great War. The sophisticated adult author's retrospective commentary on events is endearingly juxtaposed with that of the innocent, spotty youth, permanently prone to tears and self-absorption. Rosie's identity from the novelCider with Rosiewas kept secret for 25 years. She was Rose Buckland, Lee's cousin by marriage.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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