A House Divided

Catherine Cookson, Author Simon & Schuster $24 (366p) ISBN 978-0-684-87121-9
Cookson may have died in 1998, but readers are not yet compelled to bid her a final good-bye. If this posthumous offering, with its repetitive plotting and murky prose, is not up to the writer's usual standards, loyal fans will likely forgive its lapses. Matthew Wallingham is a WWII hero recovering from a war injury that has left him blind. While hospitalized, he falls instantly in love with his nurse, Elizabeth Jane ""Ducky"" Ducksworth. Despite the potential emotional pitfalls, Elizabeth eventually agrees to become Matthew's wife. First, however, she has relationships of her own to settle, while Matthew must make a life for himself at home with his family. The upper-crust Wallinghams are a formidable bunch: Matthew's spirited grandmother; his flustered but loving mother; his father, disabled with multiple sclerosis; and Rodney, his perennially underappreciated and resentful younger brother. Jim and Peter, two loyal servants, are practically part of the family. The Wallinghams are fond of frequent tea-time conversations, during which they lengthily rehash the novel's action. Subjects of discussion include Matthew's new career as a physiotherapist and Rodney's hostility. Meanwhile, Elizabeth breaks off her engagement to coarse Mike McCabe, son of a family friend. Unable to bear this loss, McCabe becomes violent, attempting first to rape Elizabeth and then to kill her. As soon as he is neatly dispatched, Rodney emerges as the new threat to the couple's happiness. Finally, though, fate conspires to provide a happy ending, and all is as it should be in Cookson's domain. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/31/2000
Release date: 02/01/2000
Show other formats
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7540-0449-3
Compact Disc - 978-0-7540-5331-6
Hardcover - 562 pages - 978-0-7862-2917-8
Hardcover - 368 pages - 978-0-593-04292-2
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-4516-6009-8
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.