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One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes
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One Fine Day (1947)

by Mollie Panter-Downes

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2761359,057 (4.31)89
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» See also 89 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
"One Fine Day" is beautifully constructed and written and I regard it as a perfect marvel. ( )
  Picola43 | Jan 18, 2018 |
This was the first book by this author that I really had difficulty getting through. Despite being beautiful and intriguing on a psychological and sociological level, it felt rather dull to me most of the time. It isn't really my kind of book at all, I'm afraid. I'm not sorry I read it, but would not wish to read it again or recommend it to anyone with a brief attention span. ( )
  lydiasbooks | Jan 17, 2018 |
This novel is like a snapshot of a single day in the life of a British family in the aftermath of World War II. It follows Laura, Stephen, and their daughter Victoria through a hot, sunny July day in July 1946. Laura does the household chores that she had to learn to do by herself but never really mastered during the war. Stephen commutes to his office in London, and frets over the overgrown garden that he is not able to take care of adequately. Victoria is growing up as children do, heading for a future in this new post-war world. That's about it. They move through a typical day with no particular action or great drama.

The theme of change and adaptation is rooted in the history and permanence of the English countryside. The characters are faced with the social upheaval brought about by the war. The middle and upper classes were left to cope with their crumbling homes and lifestyles after the servants left during the war. The people who would have done the work have discovered new opportunities and freedoms beyond the confines of their former roles. We get a glimpse of the difficulties encountered by soldiers returning to families and homes that have evolved without them, and the families who likewise had to adjust to fit the men and their expectations back into their lives.

The writing is beautiful, with wonderful descriptions of the countryside and people of the village. Laura is a lighthearted and sympathetic character. While there is a sense of melancholy for what has been lost for some, there is also optimism for the future. Despite the lack of action, the book is enthralling, with a strong sense of time and space. For the modern reader, it casts a spotlight on a moment in the past. I wonder what it was like for the original readers back when the book was serialized and published in 1946-47. ( )
  SylviaC | Nov 4, 2017 |
Set in 1946, the story follows Laura Marshall through one day of her life, a life that has been forever changed by war. The social structure has changed dramatically, one-time servants have moved on to more lucrative employment elsewhere leaving owners of grand homes having to look after themselves. Laura will adjust, although her mother and her husband may have some difficulties. Panter-Downes describes a new order that has been accepted, however reluctantly, and the future is looking generally optimistic. This memorable portrayal of an ordinary day evokes the time faultlessly. ( )
2 vote VivienneR | Oct 2, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
This is a completely enchanting account of the day's events in the life of Laura Marshall who lives on the South Downs in post-war England. Through flashbacks and reflection, it tells of her relations with her husband Stephen and their young daughter Victoria. As Laura tackles the household chores, the trip to the village, the marketing, the garden, she is filled with the wonderful calm and tranquility of peace in contrast to the hell of the war years - despite the dreary shortages and frustrations. Outstandingly well-written, this has all the delicate flavor, haunting atmosphere, and warmth of Rumer Godden's The River and is also reminiscent of Mrs. Miniver.
added by KMRoy | editWings - The Literary Guild Review (Nov 1, 1947)
 
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Epigraph
'True is it that we have seen better days'

AS YOU LIKE IT
Dedication
To Bill Shawn
First words
The day promised to be hot.
In 1946, when One Fine Day was written, England was beginning to look to the future after the Second World War. (Introduction)
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Book description
From the back cover: "The support, the nourishment had been removed. Now, on this summer morning, when doors and windows stood open, it was possible to hear the house slowly giving up, loosening its hold, gently accepting shabbiness and defeat"

It's a summer's day in 1946. The English village of Wealding is no longer troubled by distant sirens, yet the rustling coils of barbed wire are a reminder that something, some quality of life, has evaporated. Together again after years of separation, Laura and Stephen Marshall and their daughter Victoria are forced to manage without "those anonymous caps and aprons who lived out of sight and pulled the strings." Their rambling garden refuses to be tamed, the house seems perceptibly to crumble. But alone on a hillside, as evening falls, Laura comes to see what it would have meant if the war had been lost, and looks to the future with a new hope and optimism. First published in 1947, this subtle, finely wrought novel presents a memorable portrait of the aftermath of war, its effect upon a marriage, and the gradual but significant change in the nature of English middle-class life.
First published in 1946,this subtle novel presents a portrait of the aftermath of war, its effect upon a marriage and a family, charting, too, a gradual but significant change in the nature if English middle-class life.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 086068587X, Paperback)

It's a summer's day in 1946. The English village of Wealding is no longer troubled by distant sirens, yet the rustling coils of barbed wire are a reminder that something, some quality of life, has evaporated. Together again after years of separation, Laura and Stephen Marshall and their daughter Victoria are forced to manage without "those anonymous caps and aprons who lived out of sight and pulled the strings." Their rambling garden refuses to be tamed, the house seems perceptibly to crumble. But alone on a hillside, as evening falls, Laura comes to see what it would have meant if the war had been lost, and looks to the future with a new hope and optimism. First published in 1947, this subtle, finely wrought novel presents a memorable portrait of the aftermath of war, its effect upon a marriage, and the gradual but significant change in the nature of English middle-class life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:08 -0400)

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