I liked this until I realised how it was going to end and then I really didn’t want to read the rest but did anyway. I might stick to Dickens’ non-fiction from now on.
It’s amazing how you “fall over” books now and again. In this case it turns out that my new GP’s office have a shelf of books for sale – the proceeds going to Lions – which is where I found Monica Dickens’ One Pair of Hands while waiting to have my plantar faciitis diagnosed. I read (or rather listened to – the local library has an audiobook) – Dickens’ My Turn to Make the Tea way back when (must be getting on for ten years ago) and have only vague recollections of it, but I rather think I enjoyed it. I still think I must have, One Pair of Hands is certainly enjoyable. It’s an engagingly written story chronicling Dickens’ soujourn as a “general” – a combined cook/housekeeper/cleaning lady – the only job her education at various schools for young girls has (partly) qualified her for. It’s an interesting peek at the upstairs/downstairs way of life – with some brilliantly drawn characters from both sides of the green baize door thrown in – from someone who isn’t really “meant” to be there.