Stoke of old

24 09 2006

Book front cover

Anna of the Five Towns (Penguin Modern Classics)
Arnold Bennett, Frank Swinnerton
4 out of 5 stars

Anna of the Five Towns

One of those classics I meant to read when I actually lived in Stoke, but that was 15 years ago. Anna is complex and interesting and taking on her (substantial) inheritance and the attention of an energetic and successful local business man, Henry Mynors, presents her with a range of new challenges. This in addition to dealing with her exceptionally demanding father, running the household on a pound a week, spending all free time on evangelical missions for the local church and mixing it with the sewing circle.

The passages describing the work of the church, the school treat, Anna’s visit to a pot bank and a holiday on the Isle of Man are extrmely well realised. Entertaining, if partly foreshadowed, climax. Well worth a read though, especially if you like trying to work out which of the fictional five towns is based on which real one.




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