Margaret Forster presents the 'edited' diary of a woman, born in 1901, whose life spans the twentieth century. On the eve of the Great War, Millicent King begins to keep her journal and vividly records the dramas of everyday life in a family touched by war, tragedy, and money troubles. From bohemian London to Rome in the 1920s her story moves on to social work and the build-up to another war, in which she drives ambulances through the bombed streets of London.
Here is twentieth-century woman in close-up coping with the tragedies and upheavals of women's lives from WWI to Greenham Common and beyond. A triumph of resolution and evocation, this is a beautifully observed story of an ordinary woman's life - a narrative where every word rings true.
A highly enjoyable read: well-informed, gripping...an overview of the period seen from the underside
Not only is the background of social and political change meticulously accurate...but there is everything one would expect from a well-kept diary. This is fiction: yet it is true
A beautifully crafted novel about the cost of war... Forster is as distinguished a biographer and memoir-writer as she is a novelist. She is an old hand at making a story out of the fragments of a life
We believe in Millicent whole-heartedly and come to love her - she has a heroism that George Eliot would recognise. It may be fiction, but it's also - convincingly, tragically and often exhilaratingly - real life
A richly textured, skilfully structured and highly enjoyable novel by an experienced writer at the peak of her powers