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A House of Children

Winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.

A semi-autobiographical tale, which draws upon Cary’s own upbringing to tell of a young boy’s holidays spent on the Donegal coast.

For six-year-old Evelyn Corner and his siblings, Dunamara is an enchanted place. A world away from England, school and duty, they can wander at will all summer long, roam in wild packs with village children, clamber and climb like squirrels, swim and dive like otters. Around them always, investing every moment with beauty and magic, is the miraculous, metallic weight of the sea.

Here is innocence and excitement. Here, above all, is anticipation. Only occasionally is there a hint of another life awaiting them, a life of adulthood, of responsibilities, perhaps even of disappointments…


“Whatever else you have been reading or thinking, it is difficult to believe that you will not find relief and dream the music of lost happiness in A House of Children.”

The Spectator

“This lovely book is a clear call to happiness.”

LP Hartley

“He has the greatest of all the novelist’s gifts. The English novel has again found a novelist who will preserve it in all its rightful glory.”

Sir Hugh Walpole

Buy Joyce Cary