Apr 08, 2020
One Fine Day
Posted by Mollie Panter-Downes

It s a summer s day in 1946 The English village of Wealding is no longer troubled by distant sirens, yet the rustling coils of barbed wire are a reminder that something, some quality of life, has evaporated Together again after years of separation, Laura and Stephen Marshall and their daughter Victoria are forced to manage without those anonymous caps and aprons who liIt s a summer s day in 1946 The English village of Wealding is no longer troubled by distant sirens, yet the rustling coils of barbed wire are a reminder that something, some quality of life, has evaporated Together again after years of separation, Laura and Stephen Marshall and their daughter Victoria are forced to manage without those anonymous caps and aprons who lived out of sight and pulled the strings Their rambling garden refuses to be tamed, the house seems perceptibly to crumble But alone on a hillside, as evening falls, Laura comes to see what it would have meant if the war had been lost, and looks to the future with a new hope and optimism First published in 1947, this subtle, finely wrought novel presents a memorable portrait of the aftermath of war, its effect upon a marriage, and the gradual but significant change in the nature of English middle class life.

  • Title: One Fine Day
  • Author: Mollie Panter-Downes
  • ISBN: 9780860685876
  • Page: 464
  • Format: Paperback
  • One Fine Day It s a summer s day in The English village of Wealding is no longer troubled by distant sirens yet the rustling coils of barbed wire are a reminder that something some quality of life has evap


    I m not really writing reviews here any, but this book is too good to go unremarked on Apologies for the very generic sort of review below, but don t let this book slip past your radar, whatever you do Imagine Mrs Dalloway taking place during the first summer of peace after the Second World War, and you have something very similar to Panter Downes s One Fine Day The prose here is eerily similar to Woolf s, in fact, as well as Bowen s and even Elizabeth Taylor s, but the overarching debt here is [...]


    Splendid Compact and precisely delineated The pages echo with sadness and loss, with hesitation, with that disoriented post war moment where a whole social structure felt itself tremble and tumble and turn The prose is beautiful too not flashy, just calmly crafted and sighing melodically in that particularly southern English way As I grew up in that landscape of hedgerows and fields and low hills, of old thatched cottages and lost lanes of Queen Anne s lace , it successfully summoned up in me a [...]

    Nathan "N.R." Gaddis

    Clearly the strongest I ve read from Virago thus far Reminds me of Mrs Dalloway in that day of life manner Please, I am wishing you one fine day.


    In this beautiful and lyrically told novel Mollie Panter Downes chronicles a day in the life of the Marshall family, a middle class family living in post World War II England.While Britain has come out of the war victorious, life has not returned to what it once was and for most, it never will.The change the Marshall family feels most keenly is domestic They have been left to manage a house and garden without the servants that they once had And it suddenly struck him as preposterous how dependen [...]


    At the time Panter Downes was writing this novel, thousands of families were adapting themselves to the changes that came with the end of the war One Fine Day goes right to the heart of those difficulties Mollie Panter Downes doesn t limit her story to a plot driven domestic drama, although a small middle class family are the focus She is a superb observer of people and communities, and demonstrates an astute understanding for the challenges for people coming out of a long, uncertain conflict.La [...]

    Girl with her Head in a Book

    For my full review girlwithherheadinabook 2What a beautiful novel this was a peculiar dreamy quality made it feel like of an impression than a story, as though Panter Downes was conveying the experience of post war life rather than anything specific to the particular characters she draws out so effortlessly We follow Laura Marshall as she goes about her day, safe and secure after the conflict but discovering herself to be living a life entirely different to the one that she had before The sun i [...]


    A fascinating look at the after effects of WWII on every day life in a small English village, possibly the first time I ve read something about that war that has managed to make me understand the truth of what happened to English society after the jubilant celebrations of peacetime the sheer volume of loss in terms of bodies, the empty spaces and haunting memories everywhere you turn, the impact this had on the economy, the jobs that just went undone, another reason why rationing lasted SO long [...]


    In this beautifully written novel, we follow a day in the life of the Marshalls, an upper middle class family struggling to find a new way to live in an England irrevocably altered by the Second World War While Britain has emerged victorious from the conflict, life in the country has not returned to normal , to the way things were before and for many people, it never will Set on a blisteringly hot day in the summer of 1946, the novel captures a moment of great social change as thousands of famil [...]


    Beautifully written.Set in a hot day in July 1946.The war has ended and life will never be the same again for the middle classes.Mollie has an eye for character.This is such a wonderful book which I devoured in a day.It has a beautiful cover on the original Virago edition which I recently bought in a charity shop.


    An utterly beautiful short novel, exquisitely written and delicately handled This is a fascinating subject for me the uneasy settling into life after such monumental upheaval as six years of total war, the stark knowledge that things will never go back to the way they were, the overwhelming relief tempered still with sadness and disorientation These drifting sentiments are all tenderly dealt with by Panter Downes, and sit beautifully alongside the musings about a woman s lot in life, the little [...]


    Spotted this on Overbylass site, it sounded like my kind of book and was Couldn t get a fitting title one day in the life of Laura Marshall Every so often I crave a book like this, quiet, where nothing much happens except life as it really is but where I am given moments and thoughts that rush up from the past or loom in from the future I found the reflective description superb, and could relate to the main character in so many ways All those windows, she thought in horror For the rest of her l [...]


    This is a lovely book which gives you a sense of post WW II England as felt by those who had formerly been able to count on hired help for so much of their daily lives It is far than that, though, with the author s wry humor and humane observations about the human condition everywhere present.


    One of the best short novels I have read in a long time Exceptional writing.


    Read October 2016 for simondavidthomas s 1947 Book Club


    Beautifully written Makes you think about the small things in life and how to take your days from tedium to glory I also loved the historical aspect of seeing how things changed for small towns and for women after WWII.

    Arpita (BagfullofBooks)



    I enjoyed this book, but it felt similar to others I have read and didn t stand out for me in any way.

    Caroline Scott

    Full of herbaceous border and crisp observation, this one day in a life text is a real optimism enhancer Very much of its era in certain attitudes, it s also strikingly modern in some of its angles The Dorothy Parker comparison is perhaps overdone, but Mollie Panter Downes does have a just so turn of phrase and enjoyable edge She also evokes beautifully lots of scent and texture in the writing here and creates a lovely mood in its feeling of bright, sweet melancholy I was reminded of A Month in [...]


    It s a day in the life of Laura Marshall as she and everyone around her try to get back to a normal life after the end of World War 2 Humorous at times a very good read.

    Pauline Ross

    This is a book from another era, in every sense Written in 1946, it shines a light on a different age, a brief moment of history, and quite a narrow aspect of history, at that In the aftermath of the war, an upper class couple in southeastern England adjusts to the reality of life without servants and wealth.The main character, Laura, is the slightly dippy wife whose day we follow as she goes about her chores No longer able to sit idly at home, or gad about the countryside visiting or walking, s [...]


    The phrase seems overused, but this is the type of book to savor while reading It is less than 200 pages and nothing much happens, but everything is related in impeccable detail every small moment implies a larger story Published in 1947, it is about the transition of a certain upper middle class family from war time Britain to peace time Britain The main focus is Laura, a wife and mother, who is at heart a dreamer, but has to cope with being a housewife, something she is ill suited to Before th [...]


    It s difficult to know how best to do this wonderful book justice It tells the story of one day in summer 1946, mainly from the point of view of one character She is Laura Marshall, happily married, mother of one, but with a sense that something momentous has happened while her husband has been away at the war, and that the world they knew before 1939 has gone forever Written in the most beautiful crystal clear prose, One Fine Day is an elegy for a lost world, a reflection on the need for change [...]


    What an absolutely wonderful little book that seems like something a character might say in One Fine Day I thoroughly enjoyed reading it It s not the sort of book in which big things happen There s no sense of waiting for something bad or dramatic to transpire, for some big climax It just sort of potters along Panter Downes creates a palpable sense of this hot summer day in Wealding In that sense it reminds me a bit of Ian McEwan s Atonement Laura, who the reader follows through most of her day, [...]


    Currently my favourite book, for the sheer dizzy intensity of the summer day described Even when I m not reading the book, I can feel the summer heat and the sense of Laura s shocked surprise at being alive The war is over, she has survived, and this is the summer day she never expected to see, a summer day in peacetime This is the day she realises in mind and body that she is alive, when somehow the heat of the sun warms her senses into life So she can see and hear the people around her with a [...]


    A day in the life of an upper middle class woman in summer 1947, coming to terms with the changes in British society after World War 2 I loved the way the main character s thoughts drift from the horrors of war to trivial things like her dog going missing, or how to cope with not being able to find servants Lots of details, not a book to be rushed.

    Anastasia Hobbet

    Someone said, It s like Virginia Woolf and I ordered it But no one s like Virginia Woolf It s like Barbara Pym, but without her wit, irony, clarity, or eye for the perfect single detail leaving only Pym s choice of character type and setting A very thin Pym.

    Claire Fuller

    Gentle and lovely, but hasn t really stuck with me One day just after the second world war when everything changed for the English who had once been able to afford cooks and maids I have no idea how this cover came to be chosen


    It was a beautifully written booke language lyrical almost poetice action takes place in a single day, and most of it in the imagination of the main protagonisthighly recommended


    Absolutely beautiful.


    interesting flow over one day The central characters are getting used to living in a Britain that has changed dramatically since the end of the war where their way of life is disappearing My enjoyment was diminished by reading it over a long period of time Due to work pressures Probably best read in one sitting or over a weekend.

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      Posted by:Mollie Panter-Downes
      Published :2020-01-09T21:55:05+00:00