Get Your Free Audiobook

The Camomile Lawn

Narrated by: Carole Boyd
Length: 9 hrs and 18 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

Non-member price: $29.51

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Summer 1939 and five cousins gather at the house with the camomile lawn for what, for many of them, will be the last summer of their youth.

©1984 Mary Wesley (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Camomile Lawn

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ilana
  • Ilana
  • 13-09-2012

Terrific family saga set during WWII

As Helena Cuthbertson, known as Aunt Helena, and her niece by marriage Polly make their way separately to the funerals of Max Erstweiler, a German Jewish musician who had made England his home since WWII, they both reminisce about their family stories. These involve the pre-war games of a gaggle of cousins, including gorgeous Calypso Cuthbertson, who wanted only to be rich and didn't know how to love, Oliver Anstey who wanted only to have Calypso to himself but alas, was not rich, Sophy, who as the youngest, and living with aunt Helena and uncle Richard, only knew good times when her cousins were about, Walter Cuthbertson, Polly's brother who also loved Calypso, but knew better than to declare himself, and a pair of twins, the local vicar's sons. And of course, uncle Richard, who defines himself by his lost leg, sacrificed during the Great War and Aunt Helena, who only discovered love when she began her extra-marital affair with the ever unfaithful Max Erstweiler, while Richard naturally took up with Max's wife, Monika. The Camomile Lawn of the story is one of the most charming features of Aunt Helena's house in Cornwall where all the cousins share their favourite fond memories. I truly loved this story and once again enjoyed Wesley's wonderful prose, but perhaps having such a large cast of characters made it more difficult for me to keep track of the goings on and form an attachment to any one of the characters. All the same, a terrific family saga mostly set in the England of the Second World War. Carole Boyd's narration makes an already great novel that much more pleasant to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for MS D L JENNER
  • MS D L JENNER
  • 19-11-2012

Not so Great Second Time Round

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

It was OK. When I read this for the first time in the 1990's I loved it. Coming back to listen I wasn't so sure. Many of the characters just weren't very nice and I didn't much care what happened to them.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

A little difficult to say as this was my second time with The Chamomile Lawn. It was, I would say, predictable.

What about Carole Boyd’s performance did you like?

It was good. She created individual characters and caught their personalities well.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

I'm sure I saw the mini-series!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jockette61
  • Jockette61
  • 28-11-2013

As good as I remembered

First read this after seeing the Channel 4 adaptation in early 90s and loved it. It was a welcome refresher to listen to this audiobook presentation - the narrator was excellent at giving the cast of characters different voices. The characters themselves are likeably dislikeable on occasion, and the story can be quite brittle at times but ultimately is very compelling. Definitely recommended!

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jan
  • Jan
  • 07-04-2013

The British at war as only we could be

I really loved this story. It has been filmed by the BBC but there are some parts that had to be changed or omitted. You wouldn't know that this detracts from the story until, like me you read it yourself or have it read to you. It is warm, humorous, sad and incredibly moving. I am thankful that I was not born until after the war but these characters and their stories made me wish I had been there - and isn't that what a good story is all about?

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Chloe
  • Chloe
  • 04-07-2013

An upper middle class war

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I have recommended this book to my mum already - we both like fiction set in the early twentieth century and had both enjoyed the channel 4 television series, which was very true to the novel.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Camomile Lawn?

A conversation between Helena and her sister in law - talking about marriage and relationships, it symbolised the pragmatism that underlined the actions of all the characters in the novel (apart perhaps from Oliver) when faced with the massive disruption of the war.

What about Carole Boyd’s performance did you like?

Carole Boyd's narration had the right accents and tone for the middle class characters. Her narration was unobtrusive and didn't have any jarring moments of misread words or phrases.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The book left me feeling great respect for most of the characters and in particular the author - I felt impelled to go and research her life which sounds more fascinating than those of her fictional creations.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for NFM
  • NFM
  • 04-05-2019

Wonderfully read, insightful story

Carole Boyd’s narrating is excellent and really brings the characters to life. And what an insight into war-torn Britain and the lives none of us imagined might have been. Happiness and excitement despite the war.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for mollyeyre
  • mollyeyre
  • 04-12-2019

I remembered this fondly........

I read this many years ago, then, I thought it was really good! I really cannot imagine why I did remember it that way! None of the characters are likeable, and it was just a constant barrage of sexual freedoms, really over the top, and no real story! A family living through the war and taking advantage of the lax standards of the age and the war! People were falling into bed at a moments notice with whosoever was available! A major disappointment and an insult to one's intelligence!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 09-02-2019

I adored this!

Right up my street... want to read more like this... Off to hunt out the TV adaptation... 😊

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Christopher B.
  • Christopher B.
  • 05-01-2019

Wonderful Narration

This is an old favourite that I've read many times since seeing the TV adaptation years ago. I was pleased by the narrator who really brought the many disparate characters to life. I've always enjoyed this story but never more so.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jennifer
  • Jennifer
  • 10-01-2017

A bit of a slog

Didn't care about the characters, so not motivated to listen. The narration was too quick at times, so you have to focus at all times to understand who said or thought what.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Pearl B
  • Pearl B
  • 12-07-2020

Dreadful Book - Read Elizabeth Jane Howard instead

I think this is a nasty, badly written book with unconvincing characters and dialogue. By the end it seemed as if even the author was bored. I know I was. The only reason I listened to the end was in the hope that, given its popularity, it would have some redeeming features. It didn’t.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tab
  • Tab
  • 20-11-2019

Didn’t live up to the hype

I never saw the TV adaptation of this book, maybe that would have made it more enjoyable, I don’t know. I got about halfway through and gave up - I just did not like any of the characters, or feel any sympathy or interest in what happened to them.

1 person found this helpful