Thursday, February 26, 2015

Laughing House by Warwick Deeping

Laughing House by Warwick Deeping

This is a story of a house.

We meet John Mortimer as an ageing man. His two sons had been killed in WW1 and his wife followed shortly after. He alone is living in the large ancestral home his great- grandfather built in times past. Its a house with twenty bedrooms, memories and a heartbeat of its own. 

When WW2 gets under way, the home is requisitioned by the army, where it is badly abused and neglected. I wanted to cry seeing this. When the first battalion leaves, the house is in tatters. Bannisters and doors have been pulled down and used for firewood, windows broken, obscene graffiti painted on the walls, fruit trees destroyed etc.

Subsequently, two other billeting units settle there, with less disasterous results. [Armies were, and are, largely a product of their commanding officers.] Nevertheless, by the time the war is over, the great house is but a shadow of its former glory and John Mortimer hasn't the funds, the energy, or the heart to repair it alone.

But it will take more than a war to thwart the "Laughing House". Enter Peter, a one legged ex soldier and his wife to be. With three heads plotting together and a spirit of adventure, there may be a way yet to save the house and bring joy to countless weary survivors.

This is a feel good, gentle story. Well recommended.

SEX: None
PROFANITY: Mild, mostly Ds


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