Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Pink House

By Nelia Gardner White

"It was a lovely kitchen, big and square,

with the Swedish stove with its huge hot griddle for simmering,

like no stove I had ever seen.

In front of it on the big blue squares of linoleum was a braided rag rug.

The walls were pink.

The cupboards all were open and the dishes gave gaiety to the room.

There was a wooden table on which the breakfast dishes still stood

and in the window over the sink

were three small pots of geraniums, all in bloom.

There were copper pans over the stove

and against a wall a French cupboard

with little china drawers for spices."

By Nelia Gardner White

This kitchen with pink walls was Aunt Poll's. She also painted the outside of the house pink, shocking everyone. Everyone except little Norah who came to the house after her mother died, pretty much unwanted by everyone, except Aunt Poll. Aunt Poll, the one person in the family she disliked the most. In the beginning, that is.

I love this book even though there's little sugar and spice in it. I've tried to collect all of White's books but some are rare. There's not much information about her online. I wish I knew more about her. Her books have an astringent quality that I like for a change. If you run across one of her books, give her a try. You might like her too.

Photo Credits:
Swedish stove:
Pink room: could not trace back
Blue linoleum: Elsa Bilgren on Swedish TV show "Antligen hemma"
Braided rug: by Sassu on Etsy
Breakfast table:
Copper pots:
French cupboard:


  1. This is such a fun post. I want to read "The Recipe" and this book! It sounds delightful!

  2. Hi Ricki Jill, thank you, and I do hope I can introduce some of these 1940s and 1950s writers of women's fiction to young women who don't know them. They wrote of a simpler time but still had many of the very same problems, and joys, that women do today.

  3. I'm just now catching up on your blog...this one is charming but the previous one touches my heart...the one about your return to writing. I'm always troubled by the writing thing...I wish I could love it as you do...but unless I can get in the "zone," I just can't do it. My father, an author of 27 titles published his own books. My brother is a wonderful writer and newspaper publisher, my sister a successful technical writer. I'll never be anything but a craftsman at it. I find that it's useful for telling the reader what I've done in my pictures. The pictures are first, the writing secondary.
    Well, enough about me.
    I knew you were special when you first signed onto abbey style home. I wish I could read "The Recipe"...such a fascinating tale of your writing adventures, publishers, etc. Like all the other bloggers who are excited about your return to writing, I will follow along, cheering all the way. So happy you're getting to do what you love the most.
    P.S. I have a cooking blog with my grandson and just had two books of our 2010 and 2011 posts published by blog2print. Very nice products!
    Lots of happy cheers for you,

  4. I am unfamiliar with the author, but you have left me intrigued and I must find it.

    I love that you put photos to her words - you hooked me right away.

    Thanks you for such sweetness today.

  5. Bravo to you for finding just the right illustrative pictures to go along with the story. Sometimes we just like things to be simple and easy.

  6. oh thank you! i will check her out.
    your posts grow more and more charming. the combination of pictures with the stories. i love it!

  7. Another wonderful book review, Deweena!

  8. I love reading and would really like to find books by this author. You write such fascinating reviews! Thanks for sharing!

  9. I just want to know why she didn't like Aunt Poll, why no in the family wanted her and how it all worked out! I guess I'm just an old sap when it comes to relationship stories! Thanks for the teaser!

  10. Wahoo. Just checked on-line and our library carries several of White's novels including The Pink House. It hasn't been checked out since 2002 so I best run over and pick it up before it gets squirreled away someplace archival.

  11. I love the open door. Those climbing plants in the hall, the glimpse outdoors. Really just so beautiful.
    I haven't heard of the author, so I thank you. I'll look into her work.

  12. When we built our house, I painted it "taupe" with burgundy shutters. It's a BIG house. My sons would come home whining everyday that people said they lived in the big "Barbie house." I soon painted it tan and black. I could never convince them it was NOT pink!

  13. I am so glad that you wrote the Mrs. Miniver post because it told me who suggested that I read The Pink House. I finished it last week and I loved Aunt Poll. I wanted to look inside her work room and to see the beautiful furniture she restored.

    I could not remember who had suggested the book so now I can thank you.


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