The Good Plain Cook

Sian Thomas reads from Bethan Roberts's novel set in the summer of 1936, abridged by Elizabeth Burke.



Kitty, a young woman with very little domestic experience, applies for her first job as cook at Willow Cottage.

The bohemian household consists of Ellen, a wealthy patron of the arts, her 11-year-old daughter Geenie and Ellen's lover George Crane, a poet who is writing a great novel.


Ellen is convinced that George, despite his political convictions, wants her to be domesticated.

She asks Kitty to help to turn her into the perfect wife and mother.


Kitty is asked out dancing, but tensions are growing at Willow Cottage.

Despite the help of Silvester's Sensible Cookery, Ellen's first foray into the kitchen doesn't go well.


In the heat of the summer, the family is falling apart.

Much to everyone's amazement, Ellen announces that there will be an addition to the family.

Then George makes an announcement of his own.

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Geenie and Diana put on a play in an attempt to frame Kitty, but Geenie has a change of heart at the critical moment.

Ellen's lie is exposed, but this is not the only thing she is ready to confess.