Sorrell and Son
Publisher: Assembled Stories
Date: January 2008
Duration: 17 hours 38 minutes
Captain Stephen Sorrell returns from the First World War decorated with the Military Cross but unnerved by the conflict. His mercenary wife has deserted him for ‘one of the fellows who stayed behind’ and left him responsible for their son Christopher.A promised position in an antique shop fails to materialise and Sorrell faces poverty. Despite losing status he takes a job as an hotel porter, cleaning shoes and carrying luggage. Thus begins the long climb to financial security, his aim, the best education possible for Christopher to achieve a career which means he will never suffer his father’s fate and, in time, that ‘Kit’ will enjoy a happy and fulfilling marriage. The bond between father and son weathers many a crisis in an uncertain Britain where the class system is eroding and sexual morality, in the thirties, appears to be a thing of the past!A million bestseller when it was first published, ‘Sorrell and Son’ continues to enthral its audience, a most heartwarming story of one man’s sacrifice and love for his child.
This warm-hearted saga was a massive bestseller when first published in 1925. Captain Sorrell returns from the war to find his wife has left him with sole responsibility for their son Christopher. To this child Sorrell devotes his entire life, suffering humiliation and grinding labour as he rises from boot-cleaner to hotel manager, all in order to give his beloved son the education and opportunities he never had. The work offers fascinating insights into many aspects of society between the wars, particularly women, class and the angst over sex suffered by young men. There's a magic about Peter Joyce's narration which persuades the listener within the first five minutes that these people are real flesh and blood. Masterly.