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Our Mother's House (1967) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • When their deeply religious mother dies, the seven Hook children bury her in the garden and continue life as normal. Then their absent father, Charlie, reappears...

  • Evangelical Violet Hook, ill and largely bedridden, has hired Mrs. Quayle as a part-time housekeeper, her duties including looking after the seven Hook children, Elsa, Diana, Hubert, Dunstan, Jiminee, Gerty and Willy, who range in age from young teen to young adolescent. Despite her illness, Violet has not used the services of a physician, she suspect of anyone of authority. When Violet dies in bed at home, the children decide not to tell anyone, fearing the consequences of the unknown if they do. They bury their mother in their backyard, continue with their dedicated "mother time" by setting up a shrine in their backyard tabernacle (which in reality is a shed) with Diana claiming that she can "speak" to their mother, and live off her annuity checks with artistically inclined Jiminee able to forge her signature, while they hope to keep her savings for a rainy day as she had intended. On a day-to-day basis, they have differing views on what to do, with Elsa being overwhelmed by the responsibility of being the oldest, Hugh being the nurturing one, Dunstan the fire and brimstone evangelical, and the three youngest largely oblivious to the severity of their situation, especially Gerty, the overly trusting one. All they all know is that they have to keep adults out of the house, especially the likes of opportunistic Mrs. Quayle and their teacher, Miss Bailey. Things change for them with the arrival back into their lives of Charlie Hook, Violet's long gone husband who only Elsa knew existed as a live person before their mother's death. The children's view of Charlie in their lives is as diverse as their personalities. Over time, they will figure out if having Charlie in their lives is to their benefit, and if not what they have to do for a sustainable long term future for them as a collective.

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