A review by dreesreads
The Hours Before Dawn, by Celia Fremlin


An suspenseful little book that sneaks up on you--though it is a bit dated, but how much of that is because it takes place in circa 1950s England I am not sure ("pram" to me sounds circa 1880, but maybe they even still use the word in England). Also, I guess the Hendersons live in a row house? I truly did not figure that out til the neighbor began knocking on the wall.

What this book does best, though, is describe the total exhaustion of staying home with young children--the cleaning, the cooking, the entertaining with educational appropriate activities, the errands, the nap times, the pushy relatives and neighbors, the friends who want to chat, the school that expects the kids at school on time with lunch and belongings properly dressed. Meanwhile, being up all night (in her case, with a colicy baby, in my case it was a kid who needed attention for whatever reason or stomach flu), and a husband who wants to know why there is no milk or why dinner is late, since you've been home doing nothing all day anyway.