Richmal Crompton

20 April 2017
216 pages


When Julia Gideon is widowed during the Second World War with five children to look after, she is left to manage Westover House with insufficient means for its upkeep. Urged by her solicitor brother to downsize and turn the family home into flats, she reluctantly agrees.

However, as her new tenants move in it soon becomes clear that the manor house cannot contain the fiery personalities that are now living under its roof . . .

From the hard up Godfrey and his wife Cynthia, who must share a flat with his brother Hubert and the uncouth Trixie; to Julia’s elderly aunts, Letitia and Lucy, who aspire to very different lives in their old age; and the faux-French Mrs Pollock whose overbearing presence in her daughter Ann-Marie’s life is protective to the point of suffocation – life is anything but simple at Westover.

As heated relationships simmer away and family feuds break through to the surface, Richmal Crompton’s Westover is a keenly observed study of what happens when domestic life doesn’t run so smoothly . . .

Miss Crompton is a master-hand at child characterisation