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The House That is Our Own by O. Douglas

The House That is Our Own

by O. Douglas

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Two old friends, the single Isobel Logan and widowed Kitty Baillie meet at the Queen’s Court Private Hotel in London. On a whim Kitty decides to buy a flat and begins to spend money as recklessly as Rawdon Crawley. Together they unpack and decorate: a ‘Raeburn above the sideboard in the dining-room’, a book room, a ‘Queen Anne mirror above the mantelpiece with my parents on either side – pale gilt frames on the turquoise walls!’, a Dresden china pot-pourri jar, ‘graceful furniture, the old china in the cabinets, the soft glow of the Bokhara rugs ... everything of the finest, china, thin Georgian teaspoons, round complacent teapot, delicate sandwiches, wafers of bread and butter, small light cakes, small light cakes, with talk to match.’

Then Isobel does ‘an awful thing’ and buys and old house in Scotland, Glenbucho Place once the ancestral homes of the Jacobite Veitch family. ‘It looked, above everything, a home, a place that had sheltered many generations, seen them play as children, work, fight, love, hate, weep as men and women, and, the day’s task done, sleep.’

Her life changes with her purchase: ‘Everything looked different viewed from the angle of ownership ... To be able to sit in this room – a room that was part of history – and look on one side into the shadowy court-yard, on the other to the lupines, and feel that it was her very own, hers to have and to keep! She had come home, here she would live and die – always supposing, she reminded herself, that she could keep solvent.’ Then, one member of the penniless Veitch family comes into her life.
  Sarahursula | Oct 17, 2013 |
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