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Bettie's Books

A Stuga On the Cusp of the Orust Riviera, tucked away next to a hobbit hole in the woods.

The Beginning of Spring by Penelope Fitzgerald

The Beginning of Spring - Penelope Fitzgerald

bookshelves: published-1988, slavic, autumn-2010, period-piece, re-read, spring-2011, play-dramatisation, shortstory-shortstories-novellas, booker-longlist

Read from February 26 to 27, 2011, read count: 2


** spoiler alert ** Re-read details - Paper read this time, as I feel sure that there was much more of a story than I gleaned from the BBC radio dramatisation.

In 1913 the journey from Moscow to Charing Cross, changing at Warsaw, cost fourteen pounds, six shillings and threepence and took two and a half days.


Blurb - Penelope Fitzgerald's novel of an English family in Moscow, adapted by Penny Leicester. The winter of 1913 finds Frank Reid, owner of a printing company, abandoned by his wife. First Nellie takes their three children with her, then she sends them back to Frank. What is he to do?

Narrator: Clare Higgins; Frank: Richard McCabe; Selwyn: David Bamber; Nellie: Jennifer Lee Jellicorse; Dolly: Charlotte Ellis. Other parts played by Sonia Ritter, Rachel Atkins, Samuel Barnet, Richard Bremmer and David Collins. Producer: Tim Dee.


In March 1913, Frank Reid's wife abruptly leaves him and Moscow for her native England. Naturally, she takes their daughters and son with her. The children, however, only make it as far as the train station - and even after returning home remain unaffected by their brief exile.