'Lynne Reid Banks' compassionate first novel examines the stigma of unmarried motherhood in pre-pill, pre-Abortion Act Britain... While the social climate has changed drastically since publication, a transgressive frisson still crackles from the pages'
Pregnant by accident, kicked out of home by her father, 27-year-old Jane Graham goes to ground in the sort of place she feels she deserves - a bug-ridden boarding-house attic in Fulham. She thinks she wants to hide from the world, but finds out that even at the bottom of the heap, friends and love can still be found, and self-respect is still worth fighting for.
Jane's struggle to cope is a journey of self-discovery and independence...a wistful and haunting period piece
This was the first grown-up book I read apart from the dirty bits in The Carpet Baggers and every 14-year-old should be made to read it. It tackles the lot; loneliness, race, sex and growing up. I never read books twice but I feel like tracking this one down again.
Unflinching in its boarding-house detail, and strikingly modern in its fury at the "social conditioning" that made its heroine an outcast; it shocked and sold.
Written in pre-Pill days when motherhood really was a fate worse than death, the shame and tension in Reid Bank's ground-breaking novel may seem incomprehensible to today's sexually active youngsters