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Free eBook The Good Plain Cook download

by Bethan Roberts

Free eBook The Good Plain Cook download ISBN: 1846686652
Author: Bethan Roberts
Publisher: Serpent's Tail; 1st edition (November 1, 2009)
Language: English
Pages: 336
Category: Imaginative Literature
Subcategory: United States
Size MP3: 1455 mb
Size FLAC: 1902 mb
Rating: 4.6
Format: rtf lrf mbr docx


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Borrow it. You have just the figure for it, Kitty,’ Mrs Steinberg had said yesterday. ny pleated skirt sewn onto a pair of shorts. It was pale blue cotton with white vertical stripes. Just the thing, her mistress had said, for a beach outing. Kitty stood in front of the small mirror propped up on her chest of drawers and held the garment to her body. Without even trying it, she could see it was far too big for her.

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So when Kitty Allen answers an advert looking for 'a good plain cook', she has no idea what she's in fo.

So when Kitty Allen answers an advert looking for 'a good plain cook', she has no idea what she's in for. For starters, her employer is an American called Ellen Steinberg who believes in having the staff call her by her first name and sunbathing in the nude. Then there's Ellen's eleven-year-old daughter, Geenie, a bright, unhappy little thing, and Mrs Steinberg's gentleman friend, Mr Crane, who's said to be a poet – even though he doesn't have a beard and doesn't actually write much poetry. Kitty is in no position to criticise – after all she claimed to be a good plain cook, despite hardly knowing how to boil an egg. Utterly out of her depth, she is relieved to have the gardener, Arthur, to talk to.

327 pages ; 20 cm. "It's summer 1936, and the world is on the cusp of change, but there's little sign of this in rural Sussex. So when Kitty Allen answers an advert looking for 'a good plain cook', she has no idea what she's in for. For starters, her employer is an American called Ellen Steinberg who believes in having the staff call her by her first name and sunbathing in the nude

Bethan Roberts was born in Oxford and brought up in nearby Abingdon.

Bethan Roberts was born in Oxford and brought up in nearby Abingdon. She has MAs from Sussex and Chichester universities and teaches creative writing at Chichester and for the Open University. Roberts was awarded a Jerwood/Arvon Young Writers' Prize for The Pools.

When local girl Kitty Allen answers an advertisement looking for a "good plain cook," she has no idea what she's getting herself into

It is in 1950s' Brighton that Marion first catches sight of Tom. He teaches her to swim in the shadow of the pier and Marion is smitten - determined her love will be enough for them both. When local girl Kitty Allen answers an advertisement looking for a "good plain cook," she has no idea what she's getting herself into. As the temperature rises through the long, hot summer, the dream begins to fall apart. Loosely based on a summer in the life of Peggy Guggenheim, The Good Plain Cook is beautifully written, gently funny, and genuinely touching. Bethan Roberts lives in Brighton in the south of England. Her debut novel The Pools was critically acclaimed.

Bethan Roberts has taken this Bohemian idyll as the inspiratio. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this fairly good, plain book – it would make an easy enough ‘summer read’ – and Roberts evokes the period and the sun-dappled langour of the countryside convincingly, but there’s also absolutely nothing in here to challenge the reader.

It's summer 1936, and the world is on the cusp of change, but there's little sign of this in rural Sussex. It's summer 1936, and the world is on the cusp of change, but there's little sign of this in rural Sussex.

This is Bethan’s second novel. It is an evocative literary treat; think Upstairs, Downstairs meets Atonement. Based very loosely on the lifestyles of Peggy Guggenheim, the 1930s bohemian artist and her reclusive, difficult lover, it is an unconventional look at family life over one hot summer. The story is set in rural Sussex in the summer of 1936.

"Vividly drawn and affecting . . . fine touches of subtlety and humour."—Financial Times

"Delicious . . . gorgeously written, full of teasing observations about love, class and cookery."—The Times (London)

"Bethan Roberts is a fearless writer."—Louise Welsh

When local girl Kitty Allen answers an advertisement looking for a "good plain cook," she has no idea what she's getting herself into. As the temperature rises through the long, hot summer, the dream begins to fall apart.

Loosely based on a summer in the life of Peggy Guggenheim, The Good Plain Cook is beautifully written, gently funny, and genuinely touching.

Bethan Roberts lives in Brighton in the south of England. Her debut novel The Pools was critically acclaimed.

User reviews
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I stumbled across Bethan Roberts noting that those who had bought a particular book I was reading, also bought several of her novels. An unusual premise beautifully imagined and unfolded. I found all of the characters fascinating and completely believable. No high climax in the plot but the reader is led masterfully to a satisying conclusion. I hope to read all her work.
Xtintisha
The year is 1926 in Sussex. Kitty Allen was reading the newspaper when she spotted a wanted ad.

The ad said...Wanted - Good plain cook to perform domestic duties for artistic household. Room and board included. Broad outlook essential.

Kitty has been pondering whether to respond to the ad for several days. She decides to respond. Kitty wasn't sure what to expect but I can tell you it wasn't Ellen Steinberg and her daughter, Geenie. Greenie runs around putting holes in walls and pretty much doing whatever she wants. I don't know what perceived thoughts Londoners have about Americans but if they met Ellen, it would be that we are all crazy. Ellen is eccentric and not just a little. One of her favorite past times is to sun bath in the nude. Ellen's lover, George Crane is a poet. He loves Ellen but he gets embarrassed easily by Ellen and her antics.

Bethan Roberts is a new author to me. I absolutely fell in love with this book. The character that really held a place in my heart wasn't Kitty but Mrs. Steinberg. She was so care free and eccentric and didn't care what anyone thought of her. Even if she made a fool of herself. I thought Ellen did as good an enough job trying to raise her daughter. There were a few times when Greenie could have used a few good spankings. Kitty was nice. She was too much of a wall flower for me. She became somewhat over shadowed by Ellen. To experience what British authors is cooking up on the other side of the pond, than you should check out The Good Plain Cook by Bethan Roberts.
Sataxe
This is an ok book but not one I would recommend to a friend and I don't ever expect or want to read it again.
The central protaganists are all women and at different stages of their lives. 2 Lolita type young girls, the cook who is on the verge of starting her first relationships, her sister who has married a much older man and the older (very!) experienced mother of the house.
Not much happens. The book is all about relationships and very feminist. The men are dead, a scoundrel, an older husband, a quiet gardener and a hairdresser whose salon is a brothel which the mother in the story frequents. The sexual tension is dealt with a bit clumsily, there is too much of it and was a bit cringe worthy to read.
The period of history which the book is set in is not described well and would have added another layer to the book. The mother who I suppose was meant to be shocking was a very unsympathetic, not really shocking by todays standards as a character and I didn't warm to the central 'good plain cook' either. At the end when the women are together I didn't really have any sympathy for any of them. The book left me cold.
Nargas
I really enjoyed this, it was well paced, enjoyable to read and atmospheric. The setting is an English country cottage, one long summer in 1936. The story is balanced through three viewpoints: the young cook, Kitty, her rich American employer, Ellen, and her employer's young daughter, Geenie. Not much happens for a while, although it is just nice getting to know the characters and enjoying the summer along with them. There is a gentle humour throughout, which makes it an effortless read. Later in the novel, the mood changes somewhat and you start to sense the possibility of some serious storm clouds on the horizon. The story then leads to a satisfying close and you are left wanting to read more of Bethan Roberts writing.

The characters are all fun to get to know, without being clichéd or OTT. The setting is perfectly crafted, vividly created - without descriptive bloating - and everything develops at a nice pace. I had no problem getting into the story or picking it up and continuing. All in all, if you suspect this might be your cup of tea then I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Skrimpak
We read this book in our book club. Somehow it did not inspire, and the connection claimed with Peggy Guggenheim was tenuous and contrived. The writing felt manufactured with the descriptive detail squeezed in as part of the editing process, and it did not flow or draw this reader in. I felt nothing for any character. I have no interest in chick lit - so maybe this is a 1930's equivalent to chick lit.
One of our readers noticed the book fails to mention political or social events of the 1930's. Perhaps that is because a servant would not pay attention to such news, but such news might have improved period authenticity and lent depth to fairly trivial fare.