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The Fortnight in September

R.C. Sherriff
1931, 326 p.

Every year the suburban Stevens family goes to Bognor in West Sussex for their fortnight’s holiday. This offers Mr Stevens, a chief invoice clerk disappointed at having been passed over for promotion, an opportunity to dream about a future in which something could happen to reward his striving in the past. Mrs Stevens dreads the train journey and does her utmost to hide her fear of the sea. Most of all she enjoys the quiet hour after supper when Ernie, their youngest, is in bed, and the others have gone out. Their seventeen-year-old son Dick tries to understand why he is unhappy in his job as a clerk and comes to an important decision about his future, while his sister Mary, who is nearly twenty, finds romance. This story, written in 1931, about hard-working people doing normal things draws you in and makes you wish there was a sequel showing how their plans and dreams worked out.


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