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**As heard on BBC Radio 4**
‘I was born on May 25, 1938, in the front bedroom of a house in Orton Road, on the outer edges of Raffles, a council estate. I was a lucky girl.’
So begins Margaret Forster’s journey through the houses she’s lived in, from that sparkling new council house, built as part of a utopian vision by Carlisle City Council, to her beloved London house of today, via Oxford, Hampstead, the Lake District and a spell in the Mediterranean.
This is not a book about bricks and mortar, or about how a house becomes a home with the right scatter of cushions.
This is a book about what houses are to us, the effect they have on the way we live our lives. It is also a wonderful backwards glace at the changing nature of our accommodation: from blacking grates and outside privies; to cities dominated by bedsits and lodgings; to houses today being converted back into single dwellings, all open-plan spaces and bringing the outside in.
Finally, it is a gently insistent, personal inquiry into the meaning of home.
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"I was truly moved by Margaret Forster's ingeniously structured and beautifully written memoir... A really wonderful book" (Juliet Nicolson Evening Standard BOOKS OF THE YEAR)
"A beautiful exploration of her life in relation to the homes she has made'" (Rachel Joyce Observer BOOKS OF THE YEAR)
"Such a clever idea. It's a memoir sited in bricks and mortar... social and personal history spliced together" (Penelope Lively Guardian BOOKS OF THE YEAR)
"Until its shocking, throat-catching end, this latest book is a deceptively simple trek evoking everywhere [Margaret Forster] has lived" (Melanie Reid The Times)
"Reads like one of Forster's well-loved novels: full of sharp observation and gentle wit" (Bel Mooney Daily Mail)
"In both books and homes, we find wry humour and a great deal of poignancy" (Sarah Franklin Sunday Express)
"Like sitting down for tea with a highly intelligent woman and chatting, not so much about "a room of one's own" as "a home of one's own"... fascinating and touching" (Spectator)
"This is a lovely and touching evocation of what home means to one woman, and within this is a universality that many will connect with" (Shirley Whiteside Herald)
"A meditation on our emotional connection with houses, it is also a perceptive portrayal of changing domestic life in 20th and 21st-century Britain" (Juanita Coulson Lady)
"Lovely, insightful memoir" (Simple Things)
What does home mean to you?
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