Kate Chisholm

Behind the curtains, beyond the gate

‘Thank God that even in a family no one knows anyone else’s private thoughts! The meannesses of her own mind revolted her,’ confesses Rhoda, one of two sisters in Lettice Cooper’s 1936 novel, The New House. Cooper, who was born in 1897 and died in 1994, published 20 novels, many of them based loosely on her own experiences of family life, and all characterised by her gift for laying bare what really lies behind our social smiles and graces.

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