Linda Grant Virago, £14.99;
Review: Jackie Kingsley
Linda Grant has the knack of writing about ’issues’ without ever resorting to cliches or turning her characters into stereotypes.
In Upstairs At The Party, she casts her incisive eye on the naive, sometimes strident student idealism of the early Seventies.
Adele Ginsberg, a determined, hard-headed Jewish girl falls in with a group of eccentrics and left wingers at university, but it’s enigmatic, fragile Evie who particularly fascinates her.
When something terrible happens to Evie at Adele’s 20th birthday party, she spends the rest of her life trying to unpick the events that led to the tragedy, as if understanding what happened to Evie will give her the key to understanding herself.
This is a novel of gradual revelations, narrated in Grant’s cool, detached prose.
At once an exploration of ideas, and a story of real people and situations, it will stay with you long after you’ve read it.
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