Monday, 5 October 2009
Walking naked (Bawden) 377
I thought Walking Naked was an intriguing title for a novel and couldn't resist buying this the other day when I spotted it in Oxfam for 1.99. I have already enjoyed a number of Nina Bawden's books, both before and during this venture, and am pleased to have the opportunity to read almost all of her adult fiction (14 novels) as part of this challenge.
This was a particularly good Nina Bawden, and if you haven't read anything by her I would suggest starting with this one. It uses the device of spending the day in the life of the main character Laura to tell a fascinating tale about her life. Laura is a novelist, happily married with several children. But life does not run so smoothly; on the day in question she has to entertain the wife of one of her husband's colleagues whilst the men play tennis, she and her husband have to visit her son in prison, they have to visit her father who is believed to be on his death bed, and then finally they have to come to terms with the near-death of his mother who has been looking after the children. All these episodes bring previously unresolved conflicts to the fore. At the same time, we can see how the conflicts have come about through Laura's recall of her past; we learn about her time at Oxford and the friendships formed there and how these have subsequently influenced her, as well as her childhood.
Only the one cover (above) which is now in my collection.