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Download The Camomile Lawn Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Camomile Lawn Audiobook, by Mary Wesley
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (833 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mary Wesley Narrator: Anna Massey Publisher: Hodder Headline Limited Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2007 ISBN:
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August 1939. Five cousins gather for the annual summer ritual of a holiday in Cornwall; for most of them it is the last summer of their youth. The heady exhilarations of the freedoms brought by loss of innocence, and fear, are around the corner. War will change everything. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ditta | 2/17/2014

    " For some time now I do carework for the elderly in the UK. People in their late 80's or even 90's, whose young years play out on the pages of this book. Often they relate to me their war-time experiences, in fact it seems, that - very understandibly - those years left the deepest marks on their lives. It struck me as strange, or weird even, that some of them spoke with quite some relish about the war years (just like Polly does in the novel). Reading this book (haven't finished yet) helps me to understand them on a deeper level. Some reviewers complain here, that the characters are rather flat and mono-dimensional. Strangely, to me this rather well expresses their real complexity. Older generations British people can appear rather one sided, but if you spend time with them, you can sense the depth of - probably not conscious or not expressed - layers of their personalities. Very often you can just do guess work, or if you operate on a more emotional/intuitive level, sense them somehow. The way they talk, their gestures, their vibes when they recall their past, or just the way they exist today gives a lot or clues. There is one thing that I did definitely sense with my clients as well as with the characters moving about on the pages of this book: there is a profound sense of perplexity, a very curious mixture of shame and pleasure. Just imagine the state of mind at the time of the most terrible war of modern Europe: you are in the middle of it, people are dying left, right and centre, including your beloved ones, yet you can't help feeling that this is the time of your life... There is party after party, sex is oozing from the walls together with death, if you are a young woman for instance, you are suddenly out of the confines of your probably strict family and/or school, and from a girl waiting to be married, you fast as lightening evolve into someone with an often vitally important role for your country in war.A client or mine, who comes from a rather poor family, became one of the very few first women to operate the radars for the RAF. She was in her late teens, just out of a boarding school (where she won a grant and probably mostly learnt home economics, etc.) and all of a sudden she was operating radars, then very soon teaching male officers, decades her seniors, the science of radar detection. On the other hand, she recalls her feelings of being instrumental in killing people. One moment her face lights up with thrill, the other moment in terror and there is no way to separate these feelings, really, in the complexity of the experience. And of course this is 50+ years later. I can very well imagine that in those times this all was just too much to deal with, to intricate to go into detail, so you just focused on surviving in a raw and seemingly unsophisticated manner. The book reads very realistic to me on the basis of my experience with member of the war generation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tracey Wilde | 2/7/2014

    " Absolutely loved it. Read it twice and watched the TV series twice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth Evans | 2/4/2014

    " I came across this by accident in a thrift shop and thought it looked interesting. I really liked it and thought it was a terrific portrait of the intertwined lives of five cousins living and dying through WWII. It is somewhat reminiscent of Nancy Mitford but certainly stands on its own. Beautifully drawn characters, including two Germans who find themselves in the midst of the very upper-class English society dealing with the horror of that war. I am now on the prowl for more Mary Wesley. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bronwen | 1/30/2014

    " This is the way it's done. A strong story, simply and elegantly told, with characters you don't want to let go. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Edmole | 1/25/2014

    " What did I learn from this book? Dudes and chicks have always loved to bone. Shit is weird when people are dying. Life changes and you change along with it. London is even dope when it's being bombed. Garlic is really tasty. Sometimes what you're looking for is right under your alabaster breasts. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Noreen | 1/25/2014

    " I liked it - second read - last read about 20 years ago. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paige Layno Winn | 1/14/2014

    " I'm not sure which Mary Wesley novel is my favorite, so I'll pick Camomile Lawn which was the first one I read in the early 90s. I love Wesley's no-nonsense writing style and cheek (and she can be a bit naughty). She's also an inspiration, since she published her first book in her 70s. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Darlene | 12/23/2013

    " I read this book for a book discussion and just couldn't get through it. It wasn't bad, but neither the story or characters were very interesting-and it seemed very outdated. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dawn | 12/23/2013

    " Easy read, but it felt like a race to see how many social tabboos can be thrown into a single novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maggie | 12/21/2013

    " A similar style of book as "Love in a cold climate" and other books by Nancy Mitford. It captures the war time extremely well, without becoming overly sentimental. A wonderful read, and one to re read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorna | 12/15/2013

    " I had forgotten how good this book is. Well written, enjoyable characters, plot weaves easily around the present/past scenes. Makes reader think about what makes a family, and how do we "belong" in our lives. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dona Matthews | 12/8/2013

    " i enjoyed this book-- it's an easy read, and provides a thoughtful, amusing, and dispassionate glimpse into the english middle-class experience of the second world war, as well as exploring adolescence in the context of individual development across the lifespan "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 11/23/2013

    " recommended by a friend. An interesting topic - the life in war-struck London - but written to a formula which I found difficult to follow at times and predictable at others. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brenda | 11/19/2013

    " A lovely book, set in the late thirties about the lives of five cousins and how they interacted with each other through their lives, some deaths some romance. It really came to life for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alyson Horn | 8/22/2013

    " Her books are like comfort food to me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 4/15/2013

    " Pleasant story with few real surprises. Mary Wesley's books are a good choice for before or during a trip to London. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beth Cavanaugh | 2/23/2013

    " Meh. Couldn't get into the author's distant style. Way too many characters to care about, and didn't get in-depth with any of them. No specific central conflict beyond "war," as far as I can tell. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Stef Glover | 11/28/2012

    " Way to many things frustrated me. It felt more like a story of incest then a family coming together for comfort in the war. Rather sexual comforts with your family... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sherrie | 2/13/2012

    " I enjoyed the first few pages. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Busyknitter | 12/6/2011

    " This novel is trying too hard to shock. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Austin | 12/5/2011

    " Facinating author, these novels almost feel trashy, but they are very entertaining... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Corinne | 4/13/2011

    " Great emotion, interesting setting but simply too many characters. Lots of cousins sleeping with each other, which also was a bit disturbing. Like a British soap opera set in WWII. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 1/9/2011

    " Pleasant story with few real surprises. Mary Wesley's books are a good choice for before or during a trip to London. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dona | 12/16/2010

    " i enjoyed this book-- it's an easy read, and provides a thoughtful, amusing, and dispassionate glimpse into the english middle-class experience of the second world war, as well as exploring adolescence in the context of individual development across the lifespan "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beth | 8/4/2010

    " Meh. Couldn't get into the author's distant style. Way too many characters to care about, and didn't get in-depth with any of them. No specific central conflict beyond "war," as far as I can tell. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 6/23/2010

    " This was an interesting story about a group of young people who grew up in a lovely environment and they how their lives changed in large because of WWII. It's in part a coming of age story, in part historical fiction but mainly it is a good character piece. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Busyknitter | 4/3/2010

    " This novel is trying too hard to shock. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dawn | 3/8/2010

    " Easy read, but it felt like a race to see how many social tabboos can be thrown into a single novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jacqueline | 9/2/2009

    " Brilliant!
    I adore all her books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brenda | 8/28/2009

    " A lovely book, set in the late thirties about the lives of five cousins and how they interacted with each other through their lives, some deaths some romance. It really came to life for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maggie | 4/11/2009

    " A similar style of book as "Love in a cold climate" and other books by Nancy Mitford. It captures the war time extremely well, without becoming overly sentimental. A wonderful read, and one to re read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bronwen | 3/8/2009

    " This is the way it's done. A strong story, simply and elegantly told, with characters you don't want to let go. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patricia | 12/30/2008

    " Very English but great characters. Well-off family making it (or not) through World War II. "

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