The appeal of this book is that it was of its time (1960s) and it covers a situation that was familiar to so many people. When I read it, it reminded me so much of someone in my family that I pictured him as the main character.
In Britain and in the 60s, and before, it was not socially acceptable to have a baby out of wedlock. Women could not receive contraceptives unless they were married and therefore becoming pregnant was fairly common. The main issue was that, in working class families, the couple could not afford to fund their home and had to live with their parents. Ambitions were thwarted and led to disaffected young people.
This is what the story is about. A young man gets his girlfriend pregnant, they get married and move in with her parents. It is a difficult life for him and he realises that he does not have a lot in common with his new wife. Her parents resent him for what he has 'done' to their daughter. He is growing away from her romantically and intellectually and he feels trapped.
This novel is similar to many domestic or kitchen sink drama books and plays that appeared from the late 1950s depicting British working class life, such as Look Back in Anger (John Osborne), A Taste of Honey (Shelagh Delaney) and Saturday Night, Sunday Morning (Allan Sillitoe). They consider serious issues of relationships, marriage, sex and pregnancy and the confining attitudes of the time.
Published by Michael Joseph 1960.
Best Selling Psychological Fiction
Reviews by Year of Publication
All 1844 1866 1889 1897 1932 1935 1942 1946 1950 1951 1953 1954 1960 1962 1969 1971 1974 1977 1978 1983 1984 1985 1989 1991 1994 1995 1996 1997 2000 2001 2002 2003 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022