Habits of the House by Fay Weldon, narrated by Katherine Kellgren
Published in audio by Macmillan Audio, published in print by St. Martin’s Press, both imprints of Macmillan
From the publisher:
As the Season of 1899 comes to an end, the world is poised on the brink of profound, irrevocable change. The Earl of Dilberne is facing serious financial concerns. The ripple effects spread to everyone in the household: Lord Robert, who has gambled unwisely on the stock market and seeks a place in the Cabinet; his unmarried children, Arthur, who keeps a courtesan, and Rosina, who keeps a parrot in her bedroom; Lord Roberts wife Isobel, who orders the affairs of the household in Belgrave Square; and Grace, the ladys maid who orders the life of her mistress.
Lord Robert can see no financial relief to an already mortgaged estate, and, though the Season is over, his thoughts turn to securing a suitable wife (and dowry) for his son. The arrival on the London scene of Minnie, a beautiful Chicago heiress with a reputation to mend, seems the answer to all their prayers.
Thoughts on the story:
I was hugely cautious of Habits of the House initially, particularly when it began with everyone complaining about their solicitor coming to the front door instead of the back and going on and on about Arthur’s huge bills with his tailor. Very quickly, though, Weldon humanizes her characters. They still list a bit towards the ridiculous at times, but they are realistic people with realistic problems and worries. I ended up totally into all of their stories.
Thoughts on the audio production:
Katherine Kellgren captures the aristocratic tone of voice just wonderfully. She got the wry humor in beautifully and overall made Habits of the House a joy to listen to.
If you’re in the mood for snooty 19th century rich people, you won’t regret picking up Habits of the House, particularly the audio with Kellgren’s wonderful narration.
For more please see my review for Audiofile Magazine.
Source: Audiofile Magazine.
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