(Ann) Philippa Pearce

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Roger Alma

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 186

One of the few … books for children which uses an adult and modern open-ended form is the very fine novel by Philippa Pearce and Brian Fairfax-Lucy, The Children of the House…. In this story, the reader shares in the tragic damage caused in the lives of four children by unloving parents, external events—in particular the First World War—and time. The tragic note is sounded in the first sentence of the Epilogue: "No children live in Stanford Hall now." In the last two pages of the novel, the full extent of the loss is suggested, and the process is seen as an inevitable one. Only echoes remain in the old house. It seems to me that such books are necessary if the younger reader is to make the transition from the comfortable, closed world of children's fiction to the more challenging and uncomfortable world of the adult novel. (pp. 20-1)

Roger Alma, "The Novels of Molly Holden" (copyright © 1978 Roger Alma; reprinted by permission of the author and The Thimble Press, Lockwood Station Road, South Woodchester, Glos. GL55EQ, England), in Signal, No. 25, January, 1978, pp. 16-24.∗

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