Happy Prisoner

Happy Prisoner➶ Happy Prisoner Free ➬ Author Monica Dickens – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk It is the end of WW II and the household of Mrs North a well to do widow with a country cottage is very busy War circumstances brought both of her daughters home loud but good hearted tomboy Violet an It is the end of WW II and the household of Mrs North a well to do widow with a country cottage is very busy War circumstances brought both of her daughters home loud but good hearted tomboy Violet and highly strung and over sensitive Heather with her two small children Mrs North is also taking care of her young niece Evelyn a lively child who loves to play on the local farm and has a great passion for animals But at the center of all this is Oliver Mrs North's only son who lost his leg during the war service abroadRecovering from his injuries bed ridden Oliver has nothing better to do but observe the busy lives of the people around him Treated as a hero and a confidant by all the women in his family Oliver begins to enjoy his new role as a self proclaimed counselor Due to his advice Violet an independent spinster unexpectedly accepts the marriage proposal from a local farmer Her wedding is a success and Violet finds a new happiness in her marriage but soon Oliver's meddling in his family affairs goes too far Will his risky instructions save or ruin Heather's marriage which is at the brink of crisis when her husband comes back from Australia after a few years of separation Will Oliver learn to accept his new circumstances Will he finally face to the reality and start to rebuild his own lifeIn this compendium plot Monica Dickens with her typical attention to detail humor and talent for creating vivid characters explores complicated life stories of the close knit family and their friends at the end of the war The Happy Prisoner was first published in . 'The Happy Prisoner' is a pleasant slice of life story about a WW2 soldier who has lost a leg and is recovering at home Very much character driven the novel is just as much about the family and friends who move about him as it is about Oliver himself I found it engaging and enjoyable and even though I had to read this in small snippets over a week or two I always enjoyed the thought of picking it up againI'll definitely be trying this author's other works Monica Dickens died in 1992 at the age of 77 She is probably not as much read as she once was but she still has her admirers and her work was praised by such heavyweights as JB Priestley Rebecca West AS Byatt and John Betjeman The Happy Prisoner published in 1946 was one of her most successful books; it’s far from forgotten and has now been made available for KindleIt begins on an autumn night at the end of the Second World War A moth flies in through the ground floor window of an old manor house in Shropshire Trapped it struggles with the light It does not know that it is being closely observed by a man who lies in a bed in the window alcove keenly aware of the moth’s texture its colours and of its struggles “This moth which had seemed such a nuisance was really a show piece a miracle of skilled craftsmanship prodigally suandered on a single night’s existence If this pattern had been on a shawl or tapestry it would have taken months or years of painful eye straining toil”It is we gather not something the man in the bed would have noticed before But Oliver’s leg has been blown off at Arnhem and a shell splinter has damaged his heart; he is immobile in this bed in its alcove a little raised above floor level comfortable at the heart of his family No one really knows when he will be well enough to leave the bed He has time to observe the behaviour not only of moths but of humans And he does so in a way that he has it seems never uite done before Over the course of Monica Dickens’s uite long book it’s over 100000 words the reader watches a family through the Oliver’s eyes and sees a broad and beautifully observed range of human behaviour Better still as Oliver’s powers of observation grow our understanding of these human interactions grows along with his own At the same time the long shadow of the war slowly recedes as the family members reunite retrench and begin their lives anew There is plenty of human material Oliver’s American born mother constantly attentive hides her fears for her dreadfully wounded son as best she can Oliver’s youngest sister Heather awaits her husband repatriated from a Japanese prisoner of war camp In the meantime she converts to Catholicism a move that leaves her family somewhat bemused as indeed it would have done in 1945 Vatican II was years in the future and the distance between Anglicans and Catholics was far greater than it is now When her husband does return her feelings about her marriage force her up against her own character; and in a well drawn episode Oliver learns not to meddle in things he does not understand Meanwhile Violet the tall bony asexual horsey elder sister discombobulates the household by suddenly marrying “beneath” her to a local farmerThe love interest albeit tentative is provided by Elizabeth Oliver’s nurse – self possessed attractive massively competent and glacially detached One senses all along that there is something about her that is hidden from Oliver and thus from the reader and late in the book this turns out to be true How and why and how it ends for her and for Oliver brings this humane and gentle book to a very satisfactory conclusionIt isn’t perfect Oliver’s situation is a very obvious plot device although oddly he seems to know that himself And the book is very much of its time; Dickens was from a well to do family and it shows Everything’s seen from an upper middle class perspective Also evident are the attitudes of 1946; a character is said to have “worked like a black” – not a phrase that sits well today But Dickens may have understood this; because Oliver’s mother is American she is shown to be a little detached from the class system of the time and it’s interesting that Dickens later married an American and spent much of her later life in the USA In fact Dickens’s other books show an awareness of this aspect of British life that isn’t always evident here In any case all books need to be seen as their products of their time This book is a beautifully drawn contemporary picture of the way an English family coped with the aftermath of war Its impact on British civilians in no way compared with that in say Italy or Poland and it is easy to forget that for many people it was still real enough Oliver’s family have got off lightly but they are still left with a daughter whose marriage is shaken and a son who will never completely recover from his injuries In the end however what strikes you about The Happy Prisoner is its wonderful character development; you can hear Oliver’s family speak each in their own way and by the end of the book you know them all well – and none of them has acted out of character or struck a false note Monica Dickens’s great granddad Charles knew a thing or two about character development too and I think he’d have been uite proud 3 stars I enjoyed this look at a family dealing with life's problems large and small just after World War II It is told through the voice of Oliver North a veteran who has come home from war without one leg and a weak heart His room becomes the center of the home for everyone else He gets to see their lives and give advice from the viewpoint of one who does not really participate in it I liked that Oliver was not the self pitying type He had times of depression that could last for days but he also enjoyed days filled with family friends the time to read think and ponder and he found value in that He was the calm center in a normal home that was filled with a worrying mother sisters who bickered and their children with all the chaos that brings I liked that even though the family had their differences and suabbles there was great love underneath it all I will look for of Monica Dickens work to read Story of a bed ridden British World War II veteran recovering in his childhood home Not what is sounds like Very funny due to a collection of eccentric friends and family members Oliver is an adorable character and his family are absorbing A properly good read I recently went into the Oxfam bookshop in Welwyn Garden City to stock up on an armful of second hand books and this Penguin edition marked up at 36 ie three shillings and sixpence or just over 30p was part of the haul And how thrilled was I when I began to read it Because ten years ago on holiday in Australia I had previously bought a second hand copy of this very same novel got halfway through reading it and left it under the bed in a little motel in Coff's Harbour I couldn't remember the name of the novel or even who the author was and it has haunted me all these years Serendipity I might use this in a plot somewhereAnyway lovely gentle read of a way of life long lost all country house charm with teas on the lawn and dripping toast horses and dogs hand knitted Fair Isle cardigans gardeners and maids starchy nurses and wicked stepmothers with long red fingernails Best read on a winter's afternoon with a pile of hot buttered toast to hand Or in a nice motel in Australia Maybe a 375 I was delighted to find that Bloomsbury has released a number of ebooks of out of print books from the mid 20th century and to be able to buy this one on sale The author cleverly used the voice of a bed ridden WWII soldier to describe his colorful family and eventually to become the go to advisor for all of their problems Setting Enlish country life Bedridden veteran revalidating from leg amputationpositive A pleasent read Nice descriptions of charactersnegative slow read Vi's wedding takes too much pages The long expected romance takes a bit too long to develop and when it's there the story suddenly ends Nowhere near as interesting as 'One pair of hands' or 'One pair of feet' this was a look at upper middle class life just after WW2 uite historical Dickens writes in a very easy way with good characterisation so that although the plot was a little weak it was nonetheless charming An enjoyable story set at the end of WW2 about the recovery of a wounded vet He is the prisoner and his prison is his bedThere were a few issues with typos that kept me from giving it 4 stars He is at home and the characters in his family are humorous

Paperback  ß Happy Prisoner eBook ¿
  • Paperback
  • 288 pages
  • Happy Prisoner
  • Monica Dickens
  • English
  • 01 August 2014
  • 9780434192052