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Parson's Daughter
     

Parson's Daughter

by Catherine Cookson
 

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The Victorian Sabbath was not without its difficulties for some of those committed to its observance. Such a one was Nancy Ann Hazel, the young and high-spirited daughter of a country parson. He was a good man and she loved him dearly, but his Sunday sermons could seem long indeed when beyond the church door the sunshine beckoned her into the fields of this

Overview

The Victorian Sabbath was not without its difficulties for some of those committed to its observance. Such a one was Nancy Ann Hazel, the young and high-spirited daughter of a country parson. He was a good man and she loved him dearly, but his Sunday sermons could seem long indeed when beyond the church door the sunshine beckoned her into the fields of this pleasant corner of County Durham.

Two older brothers had taught Nancy Ann how to look after herself, so that she could, when necessary, hold her own with the roughest of the village children, eventhough such escapades might not be considered altogether fitting in a daughter of the vicarage; but they foreshadowed the courage and fortitude she would soon enough have to muster when the greater challenges of a controversial marriage thrust her into womanhood, and when conflict and tragedy alike had to be faced and overcome.

THE PARSON'S DAUGHTER is a major novel spanning the last quarter of the nineteenth century and introduces one of Catherine Cookson's most memorable heroines. Its strong and vibrant narrative will captivate this great storyteller's readers throughout the world.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Veteran storyteller Cookson (The Bannaman Legacy, The Moth once again captures the stratified society of Northumberland in the late 19th century. When the local pastor's daughter, tomboyish Nancy Ann Howard, attracts the master of the manor, Dennison Harpcore, their unlikely, cross-class marriage sets off a chain of events that irrevocably changes the lives and social position of many in the community. Harpcore, notorious for wenching and gambling, is for a time transformed by the virginal object of his desire. Nancy Ann, for her part, once the novelty of wealth loses its charm, matures through personal adversity, loss of innocence and Harpcore's suicide. Nancy Ann's fate is tied to those of three men, the last of whom will bring her what she finally recognizes as happiness. The Cookson way with a long, intricately woven narrative compensates for sketchiness of characterization, particularly of the male characters. As usual, readers will be absorbed by her evocation of the social landscape of late 19th century England. Doubleday Book Club main selection; Literary Guild alternate. (May 25)
Library Journal
Roaming the countryside with her dog and fighting with the McLoughlin boys is not proper behavior for a Victorian country parson's daughter. Though Nancy Ann's free and passionate spirit is a frequent source of distress to her parents, it attracts Dennison Harpcore, wealthy bon vivant master of Rossburn House; quiet and kindly Graham, lord of the manor; and intense, brilliant David, bastard nephew to Dennison. It is Harpcore who courts and marries her despite the difference in age and station. Again her independence brings conflict, loyal friends, and bitter enemies as she battles to win a place in society and a position in her own household. Hasty final chapters do not fulfill the promise of the more thoroughly developed beginning ones, but this is still a book and a heroine that will charm many. Literary Guild alternate; Doubleday Book Club main selection. Cynthia Johnson Whealler, Cary Memorial Lib., Lexington, Mass.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451660210
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
06/27/2011
Edition description:
Simon & Schuster
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
1,150,934
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.85(d)

Meet the Author

Catherine Cookson lived in Northumberland, England, the setting of many of her international bestsellers. Born in Tyne Dock, she was the illegitimate daughter of an impoverished woman, Kate, whom she was raised to believe was her older sister. She began to work in the civil service but eventually moved south to Hastings, where she met and married a local grammar school master.
Although she was originally acclaimed as a regional writer, in 1968 her novel The Round Tower won the Winifred Holtby Award, her readership quickly spread worldwide, and her many bestselling novels established her as one of the most popular contemporary authors. After receiving an OBE in 1985, Catherine Cookson was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1993. She died shortly before her ninety-second birthday, in June 1998, having completed 104 works.

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