Thursday, 8 April 2010

Cotter's England (Stead)

Stead's work is I find quite variable - both in terms of subject matter/plot line, and in terms of setting, and also in terms of whether or not I have enjoyed it. Whilst I loved For love alone and Miss Herbert: suburban wife, I did not really enjoyed Letty Fox, and Cotter's England fell into this category also.

It's a story of working class life in England, set partly in Gateshead, following the Second World War, and uses a single family's experiences to give an insight into this. Nelly, a journalist, is working for a left-wing paper and earning very little; her husband George works for the International Labour Organization - so we learn quite a lot about trade unionism and the labour movement. Nelly's brother Tom is a philanderer. The mix of characters reveals a mixture of hope and aspiration along with the opposite; it presents a multilayered picture of life but not one that really held my attention.

Quite an early VMC, this was published with an original green cover and a later green cover. My copy is the earlier one.

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