Cecily's book reviews

In general I've written reviews of every book I've read since I joined GoodReads (RIP) in May 08, along with one or two I read prior to that. More recent reviews tend to be longer (sometimes a tad too long?). I always carry a book, though I don't get as much time as I'd like to get engrossed - life is busy, but in a good way. Too many of my favourite authors died without writing enough! Apart from reading, and writing about reading, I enjoy Scrabble, good restaurants, woodland, and attending the theatre.
The Millstone (Harvest Book) - Margaret Drabble This is the story of a young academic in the mid 1960s who finds herself accidentally pregnant, and single.

I first read this covertly in my early teens, having been shocked to find it on my (very conservative) mother's shelves. I remember being very moved by it, though too naive and inexperienced to relate to much of it. Nearly 30 years and one (planned) child later, I found it an excellent piece of writing, albeit for somewhat different reasons.

Times may have changed in terms of the social acceptability of single parenthood, but it all rings very true for its time and many of her feelings around the time of the birth are pretty universal.

It is a good mix of funny, thoughtful and sad, and avoids moralising, sentimentality or tidy plotting.

It is interesting to compare it with Lynne Reid Banks' The L Shaped Room, which is a similar situation, written and set at roughly the same time (http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/132028303) and also
McEwan's Chesil Beach (http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/23326931), which is a very different story, but which also features a woman struggling with sexual intimacy, against the zeitgeist of the "swinging" 60s.

Currently reading

The Illustrated Gormenghast Trilogy
Sebastian Peake, China MiƩville, Mervyn Peake
Mervyn Peake