Freya Wyley meets Nancy Holdaway amid the wild celebrations of VE Day, the prelude to a devoted and competitive friendship…
Freya, ambitious and outspoken, pursues a career on Fleet Street while Nancy, less self-confident, struggles to get her first novel published. Both friends become entangled with Robert Cosway, a charismatic young man whose own ambition will have a momentous bearing on their lives.
Flitting from war-haunted Oxford to the bright new shallows of the 1960s, Freya plots the unpredictable course of a woman’s life and loves in extraordinary times.
A wonderful tale of female friendship… Elegant and compelling, it’s a riveting study of a changing world and the struggle of two women to find their place in it.
Quinn explores the big issues of the century – feminism, homosexuality, immigration, the individual versus society – but does so with a deceptively light touch. He draws us into the consciousness of his protagonists in an utterly compelling way… Quinn’s characters…will continue to live on long after reaching the final line of this wonderful novel.
There’s plenty more to tantalise us as we move from the austere 1940s to the tumultuous 1960s... [Quinn] Has evidently gorged on recent histories of the period… Quinn’s skill lies in picking a surprising route through familiar terrain, blurring the boundaries of fact and fiction in a style that calls to mind William Boyd. Besides being adept at marshalling period detail, he is a fluent, engaging storyteller, whose suave prose masks an unusually shrewd sense of how relationships work.
There aren’t many novelists with smoother, more elegant prose styles than Anthony Quinn. His sentences practically purr on the page… Immensely enjoyable… Effortlessly entertaining and gracefully thought-provoking.
I can’t remember the last time I devoured a book with such greed. Quinn’s eponymous, sweary heroine trailblazes her way through Oxford, Nuremberg, Soho and all points between.