It is London, 1970. Carmel McBain, in her first term at university, has cut free of her childhood roots in the north. Among the gossiping, flirtatious girls of Tonbridge Hall, she begins her experiments in life and love. But the year turns. The mini-skirt falls out of style and an era of concealment begins. Carmel's world darkens, and tragedy waits in the wings.
©1995 Hilary Mantel (P)2011 W F Howes Ltd
This is a compulsive listen. Be prepared to sit in the car unwilling to leave the narrative.
It conjures all the indecision and lack of confidence of youth along with some sharp reminders of student poverty, initial engagements with the opposite sex and the dreadful spectre of single parenthood. Hmmm, not sure why it was so enjoyable now I come to think of it.
It rings bells not tinkled in many years I guess.
Listen and revisit the past, luckily not one's own.
Story and writing are amazing, my only gripe is with the narrator. Her accent is anachronistic - people in the 1960s and 1970s (and up until the late 90s for that matter) didn't pronounce words like look, book, could as 'lerk' 'berk' and 'kerd'. For anyone over 30 this jars. It's a pity, as she does the regional accents well, so you wonder why she couldn't get this right as well.
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