Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Books & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Ke-Ma)

Lofts, Norah

story house books

(British, 1904–83)

The books of Norah Lofts are scarce now and mostly out of print. This is a pity. Generally filed under historical/romance, there is a seriousness about her work that sets it slightly apart. If you can get it, begin with Jassy (1944), a dark, very moving tale about an ugly girl, the perpetual outcast, who loves unrequitedly and is eventually unjustly hanged. The plain unsentimental prose and the force of the fractured narrative lift this far above the mawkish. Lofts’ numerous books deal with everyone from royalty to the very poor. How Far to Bethlehem? (1965) tells the story of Christ's birth realistically from the point of view of Mary and Joseph, portrayed as ordinary people. The Town House (1959), first in a trilogy, launches the complex story of several generations from the fourteenth century onwards in one house, showing in a tragi-comic way how the present evolves out of what is, for the living, the unknown past.

Jean Plaidy, Edna O'Brien  CB

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