Big House

Big House Elizabeth Can Hardly Accept That Her Brother James Committed Suicide, So When Her Sister Kitty Dies Too, It Is Than She Can Comprehend As She Wanders The Large Family Mansion Of Her Childhood A Haunting Place Of Mystery, Wonder And Opulence The Memories Of An Apparently Idyllic But Secretly Threatening Past Will Not Let Her Go

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Big House book, this is one of the most wanted Helena McEwen author readers around the world.

[PDF] ✩ Big House By Helena McEwen –
  • Paperback
  • 183 pages
  • Big House
  • Helena McEwen
  • English
  • 25 August 2018
  • 9780747548485

10 thoughts on “Big House

  1. says:

    Over the years, I have seen very few reviews of Helena McEwen s work she seems to be quite an underappreciated author I have read her other two published novels before Ghost Girl 2004 and Invisible River 2011 and very much enjoyed both, but the overall ratings on Goodreads for both books are rather low average ratings of 2.82 and 3.10 respectively The Big House, her debut novel, has been even poorly rated, with an average score of 2.65 It is, however, my favourite amongst what I feel are three very good novels.The Independent on Sunday deems The Big House brilliant A book of immense skill and unique vision , and the Observer calls it touching, poetic and utterly unsentimental In the novel, protagonist Elizabeth s brother James has committed suicide After her sister Kitty also passes away, a victim of drowning, it is than she can bear As she wanders the large family mansion of her childhood a haunting place of mystery, wonder and opulence the memories of an apparently idyllic but secretly threatening past will not let her go She makes her way to Scotland, where the family home is about to be sold, in order to be alone with the memory of her siblings From the first, I found Elizabeth s narrative voice both mesmerising and absorbing Trying to make sense of her loss, she asks What has happened in that time, from spring to autumn, the lifetime of a leaf What happened when it poked its way through the four small doors, and unfurled its pale green folded up pleats to the world James died And what happened as the yellow green darkened to summer green, then began to turn yellow at the edges as late summer crept along the branches Kitty died When this particular reflection begins, Elizabeth stands at the point in the year when the leaves are falling The narrative voice in The Big House is very connected to the natural world such attention has been given to sensation and colour particularly Given the nature of the death of both siblings, one so deliberate and the other an accident, Elizabeth has to imagine that both are now in a better place And I can t think of Kitty s terrified struggle for life, and I can t think of the pain that made James pull the trigger, because I can feel where they have gone It is a singing place full of light It dazzles me I long for the sweetness of it It is home, and I want to go home The imagery in The Big House is by turns fragile and stark McEwen writes, for example, James went along to the gun room and took a rifle down from the stand He must have loaded it at night in the dark, and he lay down outside in the leaves and hugged the gun as though it was a friend The scenes which depict grief are touching and raw After James death on the aforementioned night, Elizabeth recalls Kitty and I lay on a bed in a hotel with the window open I didn t want to leave her, even go out of the room I didn t want to be anywhere without her, and feel all the feelings about James on my own So we lay together on the bed, with our bare arms wrapped around each other, letting the terrible feelings pass through at the same time, and outside we could hear the sea lapping against the rocks and the seagulls calling plaintive cries in the air They called through us, and the sound felt our pain One gets a sense of something other than realism filling Elizabeth s childhood there are, on occasion, elements of the otherworldly, and a continuing feeling of being observed by the unknown The invisible beings of the house seem to draw closer to me and I feel their shadows passing through me Little winds blow in my ear, and make me shiver, and strange wispy feelings slide up and down my spine I very much enjoyed the use of the unreliable narrator which McEwen created here, and the brief sense of retrospect at the beginning of the novel, before the narrative which follows is filled with childhood memories There is not a great deal of plot when this ensues, but the scenes and memories which are woven in are striking and memorable There is a timeless quality to this story it is never stated explicitly when events occur, and very few cultural details can be found throughout The Big House provides a lovely, and quite thorough, exploration of a childhood, and the strength of sibling relationships.

  2. says:

    This is a short, slight book, with not a lot going on It basically describes a time and a place There is a book ending device, which lets us know what happens in their 20s to the 3 central child characters we read about in between, and to the house which is the setting of the book, but that adds less than it could have done I could have done without that, and with a bit joined up plot in the middle.It s apparently an autobiographical novel, and at times it reads like a memoir of anecdotes There is a lack of cohesion which would have added depth.What is brilliantly done, is the depiction of the inner life of an imaginative six year old Her upbringing is unusual in life, less so in literature She s the child of a large aristocratic Catholic family in a Scotland manor house in the 1970s There are nature, wildness, servants, chapel, nursery teas, shootin fishin , corporal punishment, a cold mother, an alcoholic father, and glamorous adult social events viewed through the banisters So exactly what you d expect There are the hints of ghosts, too, but no details There s an accident with an air rifle which any responsible adult could have seen coming a mile off All in all, Helena McEwen does a good job at describing a childhood I could have imagined for myself, which would have done better being the setting background to an actual story, rather than the entire contents of a novel all on its own.

  3. says:

    I honestly think there was no point to this book It took me forever to get into, the beginning was hard to follow and didn t provide enough context I understand it was MEANT to draw in the reader but it was just confusing By the time I figured out what was going on, I was bored, as nothing really had happened The rest of the book was ok Mildly interesting plot if at all, and unremarkable, and pointless, like I said Blah.

  4. says:

    Story about children in the big house It s nice and playful and gives typical atmospheres from childhood Subtly it also addresses issues the aristocracy was dealing with, like losing their estate dur to stamp duty etc.

  5. says:


  6. says:

    This first person narrative revolves around the childhood reminiscences of Elizabeth who loses both a brother and sister in the span of a few months It s like the story begins in the middle.

  7. says:

    Her debut novel I think A good read but nothing startling.

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