Synopses & Reviews
At all times wonderfully evocative and poignant, Cider With Rosie
is a charming memoir of Laurie Lee's childhood in a remote Cotswold village, a world that is tangibly real and yet reminiscent of a now distant past.
In this idyllic pastoral setting, unencumbered by the callous father who so quickly abandoned his family responsibilities, Laurie's adoring mother becomes the centre of his world as she struggles to raise a growing family against the backdrop of the Great War.
The sophisticated adult author's retrospective commentary on events is endearingly juxtaposed with that of the innocent, spotty youth, permanently prone to tears and self-absorption.
Rosie's identity from the novel Cider with Rosie was kept secret for 25 years. She was Rose Buckland, Lee's cousin by marriage.
A re-issue of the evocative and nostalgic account of Lee's country childhood in a secluded Cotswold valley. Lee describes a vanished rural world of village schools and church outings but also touches on the darker side of village life as it comes into contact with murder, rape, suicide and depression.
A wonderfully vivid memoir of Laurie Lee’s childhood and youth in a remote Cotswold village.
From the Paperback edition.
A new edition of the classic book.
About the Author
Laurie Lee was born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, in 1914, and was educated at Slad village school and Stroud Central School. In his teens Lee had already began to write poems. He had met two sisters who encouraged him in his writing aspirations. At the age of nineteen he walked to London and then travelled on foot through Spain, where he was trapped by the outbreak of the Civil War. He later returned by crossing the Pyrenees, as described in his book As I Walked Out one Midsummer Morning.
During World War II he made documentary films for the General Post Office film unit (1939-40), and the Crown Film Unit (1941-43). From 1944 to 1946 he worked as an editor at the Ministry of Information Publications. In 1950 he married Catherine Polge and they had one daughter.
He died in May 1997.
Reading Group Guide
1. Consider the depiction of women in the book, and how this progresses from beginning to end as Lee grows up.
2. At first glance the book appears to be idyllic and happy; full of pleasant, carefree images and anecdotes. Yet there are also many moments of darkness. Consider the dark side of the book, in reference to any disturbing episodes you can think of. On balance which feeling stays with you most by the end of the book?
3. It might be said that the book is either about life or about death. What do you think - which does it concentrate on more?
4. Consider Lee's use of humour throughout the book. In what way does it occur and what purpose do you think it serves?
5. To what extent was Lee's mother a good mother, or role model for Lee?
6. A major issue within the book is that of tradition, and the old country life, versus modernisation. Discuss Lee's attitude to both, and where you think he falls in support of most by the end.