Because of the Lockwoods by Dorothy Whipple
Persephone book no. 110
The story is deceptively simple: the entanglement of two families in a northern town called Aldworth. One, the Lockwoods, wealthy and powerful, in a position to patronise and help the second family, the poor Hunters, who have been left fatherless with a weak, ineffectual mother. Though the thudding heart of the story draws the reader inexorably along, hoping for the meek to conquer the strong, it is a surprising book in many ways, not least for its subversive portrayal of family – the children are often the adults, the parents the untrustworthy, unwise ones, and Whipple makes it clear that what we call today the nuclear family is not the answer to happiness. But what may be most satisfying about the book is how the climax is reached as a result of character. This is twentieth-century British fiction at its very best.
Paperback with jacket
Publisher: Persephone Books
Endpaper: 'Chestnut', a 1949 fabric design by Mary Bryan for Edinburgh Weavers.