I came to this book having enjoyed The Grass is Singing and certainly the writing style is very good. But it seemed rather too long and a bit repetitive. Sections of it are excellent, such as the analysis of the motivations of westerners joining the Communist Party in the 1950s, which are challenged by the revelations of Stalin’s terror. And the atmosphere of 50s London is well evoked. But it is a bit sprawling and I found the last hundred pages tough going.

It is seen by many as an important work in the development of feminism and, since the consciousness that narrates the book is female and there is discussion of sex, I can see it was daring at the time. There were moments in reading the book when I thought I was being drawn in but, sadly, they passed.

So, a bit of a disappointment.

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