Another book that I recently enjoyed was "Cider With Rosie", by Laurie Lee, based in the Cotswolds, near Stroud. The blurb praised the "glittering prose", and I was mystified by that description, as I thought that some passages were rather too florid. However it settled down and I will admit the descriptions transported me back to the magic of the seasons in rural Britain. I'm glad that I persevered past the initial prosy bits! It is about a "fatherless childhood" so the perspective is different --- and there were delightful sepia photographs of the authors and some from archives, as well as colourful illustrations.
"I remember, too, the light on the slopes, long shadows in tufts and hollows, with cattle, brilliant as painted china, treading their echoing shapes". "Cider With Rosie" is a wonderfully vivid memoir of Laurie Lee's childhood and youth in a remote Cotswold village. From the moment he is set down in the long grass, "thick as a forest and alive with grasshoppers", he depicts a world that is both tangibly real yet belonging to a now distant past.
"This is a warm, evocative tale of growing up in the Cotswolds around the time of the First World War. The opening page is a bit like chewing concrete with its over flowery descriptions, but stick with it because the rest of the book just flows. It tells the tale of Laurie growing up in a large family with only his mother for guidance. Their father has left them and his wonderful scatty mother has trouble coping, but the story is warm and amusing, and brutal by turns. The characters are all enchanting and once I began this book I did not put it down until I had finished it, and then promptly turned back to page one and read it all again!"