Before reading The Millstone, I spent years wanting to read a Margaret Drabble novel but never got around to it. She is what you would call a serious writer. To quote the LA Times, she is “as meticulous as Jane Austen, and as deadly as Evelyn Waugh.” So I knew The Millstone would be literary and well-written, and it was. But what came as a surprise to me was how easily readable the novel was and how much I was completely drawn into the main character’s life. The novel, one of Drabble’s early works, is set in 1960s London. The narrator is a young woman who has an unplanned pregnancy as a result of a casual love affair. This isn’t your typical unplanned pregnancy story; the narrator is highly educated, independent, and strong. She does not weep for her circumstances nor expects anyone to weep for her. The Millstone was a wonderful read, and I greatly enjoyed the 1960s London setting. I will most definitely be reading more of Drabble’s novels. I hope that you give her a go as well…if you have not done so already. Also--as an aside-- Margaret Drabble is A.S. Byatt’s sister.
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