Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tuesday Intro: Going into Service

One Pair Hands by Monica Dickens


'I was fed up. As I lay awake in the grey small hours of an autumn morning, I reviewed my life. Three a.m. is not the most propitious time for meditation, as everyone knows and a deep depression was settling over me.
I had just returned from New York, where the crazy cyclone of gaiety in which people seem to survive over there had caught me up, whirled me blissfully around, and dropped me into a London which seemed flat and dull. I felt restless, dissatisfied, and abominably bad-tempered.
 " Surely," I thought, " there's something more to life than just going out to parties that one doesn't enjoy, with people one doesn't even like? What a pointless existence it is - drifting about in the hope that something may happen to relieve the monotony. Something has got to be done to get me out of this rut."
In a flash it came to me:
"I'll have a job!"

*****
Monica Dickens
In the 1930's it was not the thing for gently-bred unmarried girls to 'have a job.' Helping at home, sitting around idly or filling the long hours with social occasions was enough for any young woman until her prince whisked her down the aisle.
Monica decides otherwise - bored and adding the equation work = money = independence she enters the workforce as a hopeful cook-general. A strange choice as she couldn't even boil an egg but then domestic service in Britain at the time was on its last legs and employers couldn't afford to be choosy.
Monica's descriptions of her time spent in several positions ranging from city flat to aristocratic manor are very amusing and makes this memoir a fun book to relax with.

What did you think of the opening paragraph? Would you keep reading?

*****
Tuesday Intros is a meme hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea which bloggers can join in with by posting the first paragraph (or two) from a book of their choice. 




26 comments:

  1. It makes me want to read it again :)

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    1. Great relaxing reading - looking forward to the other two in Chronicles.

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  2. I hadn't heard of this book but it absolutely sounds like my kind of book! I completely agree with everyone that the main character is saying, so I should probably go get this book right now! Thanks for introducing this one to me! Thanks for sharing :) I hope you have a great week!
    My Tuesday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

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    1. I hope you find it and enjoy, Juli - it's lots of fun.

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  3. This sounds like a great read. This is new to me.

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    1. It was first published in 1939 which probably explains why you haven't heard ot ti.

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  4. I like that intro, I would definitely read more.

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    1. Hard to imagine in our modern world, isn't it?

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  5. I'd be interested in her experiences and would read on.

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    1. She certainly wasn't afraid to give things a go - often with very funny results.

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  6. I do like the intro...and reading about those times. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

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    1. I like these mid 1900 British stories too - hope you will read and enjoy.

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  7. This one sounds interesting! I'd like to see where this is going.
    Today I'm featuring The Girl With A Clock For A Heart by Peter Swanson.

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    1. To some very amusing situations.

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  8. I guess back then an idea like that would almost be revolutionary... lol

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  9. Sounds interesting. There's a turn of phrase in the intro that sounds so British.

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    1. It's very British and so is the humour. Lots of fun.

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  10. I'm reading along and suddenly I can't help but burst out laughing. That's a great intro. I would keep reading. :-)

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    1. I did a lot of laughing while reading too!

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  11. Haven't heard of this book or author before. Reading the snippet makes me glad times have changed. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Monica Dickens was a popular mid 1900's author writing childrens and adults books.

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  12. jI really like the opening paragraph. It has an old-fashioned flavor to it that I haven't heard in a long time. I'd like to read more.

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    1. It gives a great picture of the era - old fashioned and very interesting.

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  13. wow every one is interested to read some more about that. Lost and found

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    1. Something a bit different perhaps from contemporary fiction.

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