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Obres de Ann Baer

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The book collector, Winter 2011 (2011) — Col·laborador — 2 exemplars


Coneixement comú

Nom oficial
Baer, Ann Sidgwick
Data de naixement
Data de defunció
Sidgwick, Frank (father)
Baer, Bernhard (husband)
Ganymed Press
Turnstile Press



Down the Common, by Ann Baer, was recommended to me by other fans of Ruth Goodman and the Farm series. Like the Farm shows, this book follows daily life in one historical year. The book is written in the month-by-month pattern, almost like a record book. We see a year of daily life, and while there’s definitely a voice, there’s no plot at all. No conflicts besides surviving to the next month, but that’s still compelling. I actually read this book while I wasn’t feeling very well, and I kept trying to ignore my symptoms to keep reading and see what the next month would bring for Marion and her family.

First, a warning: Down The Common is gross. So gross. No laundry, no flushing toilets, loads of vermin, it’s just gross. I understand that a lot of this is accurate but still, yuck. In one scene, it’s finally sunny enough for Marion to wash a winter’s worth of grime out of the dress she wears every day.

Full review on my book blog
… (més)
TheFictionAddiction | Hi ha 7 ressenyes més | May 8, 2022 |
A wonderful book, detailed in its description of the life of an ordinary peasant in a small village.

Listening to all this made me wonder just how humanity managed to survive, and develop.

It's a piece of fiction, but very convincing due to all the small details. I'm truly glad I didn't/don't have to live through this.

The narration was beautiful and added to the experience.
Belana | Hi ha 7 ressenyes més | Dec 15, 2021 |
This book puts you smack down in a reality we'll never experience but which many of our ancestors did. The main character, a serf on a small farm in rural England, has a husband and a couple of children and lives in a one-room shack. Her main concerns are having food for the winter and earning enough goodwill from the landowners that her family will receive blankets and other items to ensure survival in the worst months. She worries about her living children (and about getting pregnant again), mourns those she's lost, thanks the heavens for a strong husband she both admires and loves, and observes the limited world around her. Most terrifying for her is the fate of a neighbor whose husband dies and who is forced to move to the "big house" because she no longer has need for privacy and space. She now sleeps on the floor of the hall with others like her. Another neighboring couple doesn't provide enough for their children, who are always begging. Since food is available only to those who work, the children get little consideration from other serfs or from the landowners. The lives of the landowners don't sound all that wonderful either, but at least they have more security, warmer lodgings, and better food. And the local priest - let's say you'll never again presume the purity of how doctrine was spread.

Life in this hamlet is detailed for one day each month over a year, giving the whole spectrum of such an existence before the endless cycle repeats. It's moving and guaranteed to stay with you over the years. You may even come back to it, as I have.
… (més)
auntmarge64 | Hi ha 7 ressenyes més | Mar 30, 2019 |
This is one of my favorite historical novels. Baer perfectly captures the tone of ordinary life in medieval England.
pandorasmuse | Hi ha 7 ressenyes més | Aug 5, 2010 |


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