Friday, 11 March 2011

The grain of truth (Bawden) 387

It was with a mix of sadness and happiness that I picked up The grain of truth by Nina Bawden. Bawden is one of the authors that I have enjoyed without exception on my VVV, and am happy that there were 14 of her novels on the list. I thought I had read all of them, but then I realised last month that I still had one to go, and managed to acquire a copy! So happiness that I got to read another Bawden, but sadness that this was definitely the last. I even spun it out over a couple of days rather than racing my way through as I sometimes do with a good book.

It's very typically Bawden, less about the plot than about the characters and their lives and a meshing together of domestic experiences and roles. A story told from several perspectives that need to be brought together in order to understand what is really the "truth". Emma, her husband Henry, and her best friend Holly all have different stories to tell, partly fuelled by their own individual deceits, and although the book centres around the trigger of the death of Henry's father (who Emma is convinced that she pushed down the stairs), it delves deep back into their pasts - how they got to know each other. All very interesting and intriguing!

Only published once by Virago in an italicised green edition.


  1. It always makes me a little sad when I finish reading all an author's works. I'm working my way through the Persephone catalog and I know I'll be sad when I finish all the Whipples -- I've only read two but I'm trying to stretch them out. Of course there's always the entire Virago catalog, the NYRB catalog. . . .

  2. The cover alone would sell me that book! Really attractive.