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[The Millstone [BOOK] Free Download Ebook ✓ Margaret Drabble – Book, DOC or Kindle ePUB free

review The Millstone

A celebration of the drama and intensity of the mother child relationship published as a Penguin Essential for the first timeIt is the Swinging Sixties and Rosamund Stacey is young and inexperienced at a time when sexual liberation is well on its way She concea. This is the story of a young academic in the mid 1960s who finds herself accidentally pregnant and singleI first read this covertly in my early teens having been shocked to find it on my very conservative mother s shelves I remember being very moved by it though too naive and inexperienced to relate to much of it Nearly 30 years and one planned child later I found it an excellent piece of writing albeit for somewhat different reasonsTimes may have changed in terms of the social acceptability of single parenthood but it all rings very true for its time and many of her feelings around the time of the birth are pretty universalIt is a good mix of funny thoughtful and sad and avoids moralising sentimentality or tidy plottingIt is interesting to compare it with Lynne Reid Banks The L Shaped Room which is a similar situation written and set at roughly the same time my review HERE and also McEwan s On Chesil Beach my review HERE which is a very different story but which also features a woman struggling with sexual intimacy against the zeitgeist of the swinging 60s

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The Millstone

Ls her ignorance beneath a show of independence and becomes pregnant as a result of a one night stand Although single parenthood is still not socially acceptable she chooses to have the baby rather than to seek an illegal abortion and finds her life transformed. I have wanted to read this for years but was alwasys hoping that one day I would find it in a library to save me buying it When I discovered that King s College s library had fiction this was one of the first books I found and how glad I wasThis was a fantastic read Funny full of despair and utterly relatable the story follows young unmarried academic Rosamund Stacey who lives alone in her parents apartment while they spend time abroad She is in the middle of writing her thesis when a one night stand with a close friend results in unplanned pregnancy The book follows her the time counting down the pregnancy whilst trying desperately to keep the news from the father of the child as well as her parents as well as coping with the stigma surrounding her being unmarried and choosing to keep a baby I love Rosamund as a character I find her incredibly brave and self confident in her decisions and I found myself agreeing with her choices and metaphorically cheering her on through most of the story I also love that early on in the book Rosamund convinces her small friendship circle that she is sleeping with 2 men at once when in fact she is sleeping with neither and as both the men believe she is sleeping with the other man neither of them pressure her into sleeping with themDrabble has such a great way of writing I can t wait to read my next book by her

Margaret Drabble  8 free read

By motherhood'Rosamund is marvellous a true Drabble heroine what spirit is here' Sunday Times'One of our foremost women writers' Guardian'The novelist who will have done for late twentieth century London what Dickens did for Victorian London' The New York Time. My career has always been marked by a strange mixture of confidence and cowardice almost one might say made by it Rosamund Stacey is an unmarried academically brilliant young woman living rent free in her parent s spacious London apartment while they are away in Africa She has come of age on the cusp of the sexual revolution when the capital is about to morph into Swinging London and sex is almost de rigueur for a modern city girl of her class and generation Nevertheless in that typically hypocritical British way illegitimacy continues to be tabooShe feels in many ways out of step with her fashionable and literary friends because she is secretly still a virgin While she thoroughly enjoys socialising drinking and going out with young men she is in some ways determinedly asexual content to allow each of her two boyfriends to think she s sleeping with the other One must of course remember it is 1965 and the contraceptive pill is available only to married women a situation that continues until 1967 the same year in which abortion is legalized so accidental pregnancies are an ever present risk Rosamund s refusal to yield to sex is then understandable and probably not as unusual as she thinksAfter a single sexual encounter with George a shy gentle possibly gay announcer for BBC Radio Rosamund falls pregnant They are however both diffident and deeply unsure characters indeed people in general aren t as emotionally articulate as they are nowadays She has been raised never to inconvenience others and never to make a fuss She therefore does not inform George of his paternity but chooses to stay away from him throughout her pregnancy Where she differs most drastically from other middle class well brought up young Englishwomen of her era is in making a conscious decision to keep the baby She elects to combine single parenthood with having an academic careerDrabble has always maintained this book is about motherhood and isn t political but The Millstone has nevertheless come to be regarded as a seminal 1960s feminist novel During the writing of the narrative she was expecting her third child and large chunks of the story are based on her own experience of learning to navigate the system GPs surgeries clinics NHS maternity wards etc I was particularly fascinated by the chapters relating to pregnancy and birth in Britain during this period having often heard my own mother discuss the subject from a personal perspective I too was born in 1965Unlike so many of the unmarried mothers she meets Rosamund has financial padding she s not rich but she certainly isn t impoverished She sees poorer women having a far worse time than herself and she comes to understand that she has been born into a privileged world She does though feel rather shocked when the letter U for Unmarried is placed at the foot of her hospital bedShe names her daughter Octavia and finds in her an unconditional love the like of which she has never known So when her baby reuires life saving heart surgery and Rosamund is barred from the hospital by an officious matron who informs her it will be a fortnight before she will be permitted to visit her child she turns from a dumbly obedient young lady into a screaming howling madwoman Here I will leave the plot in order not to spoil the story for those planning to read the bookWritten in the first person this poignant minimalistic tale is about class positioning accepted codes of behaviour and being a single woman bringing up a child in a still highly priggish England Unlike the Kitchen Sink Dramas of this period often written by and about angry young men Drabble s novel is social realism from a woman s viewpoint Though it could be described as a bleak tale of missed opportunities it is also a funny astute extraordinarily beautiful if understated paean to motherhood The Millstone is a peculiarly British novel of its time that continues to captivate readers of all generations and I was unsurprised to learn that it has never been out of print since it was first published 54 years agoYou can read of my reviews and other literary features at Book Jotter


10 thoughts on “The Millstone

  1. says:

    A “millstone around your neck” It’s a common enough idiom meaning a heavy burden weighing you down; inescapable and probably self inflicted It comes from the Holy Bible Matthew 186 “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones who believe in me it were better that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea”It is this uotation which Margaret Drabble said

  2. says:

    Seen as a crucial novel on feminism and motherhood during the British 60s The Millstone is told in the first person by Rosamund Stacey a well brought up Londoner and well educated daughter of middle class socialists She is working on a PhD at the start of the novel and her sentences reflect her brainbox intell

  3. says:

    This is the story of a young academic in the mid 1960s who finds herself accidentally pregnant and singleI first read this covertly in my early teens having been shocked to find it on my very conservative mother's shelves I remember being very moved by it though too naive and inexperienced to relate to much of

  4. says:

    I have wanted to read this for years but was alwasys hoping that one day I would find it in a library to save me buying it When I discovered that King's College's library had fiction this was one of the first books I found and how glad I wasT

  5. says:

    For a book written as long ago as 1965 this story of an intelligent single woman who finds herself pregnant is surprisingly modern and sympathetic with a refreshing lack of traditional moralising Its heroine Rosamund has an academic

  6. says:

    This was just an ok read for me; I found it very dated although can imagine that it raised a few eyebrows in its day

  7. says:

    I think I'm among the few who read this and got upset with the ending While the novel is readable and at least for the four fifths

  8. says:

    “My career has always been marked by a strange mixture of confidence and cowardice almost one might say made by it” Rosamund Stacey is an unmarried academically brilliant young woman living rent free in her parent’s spacious London apartment while they are away in Africa She has come of age on the cusp o

  9. says:

    For my full review main awareness of Margaret Drabble has always been that she is the sister of AS Byatt who wrote Possession one of my very favourite books and that the pair of them have had some sort of long running feud which may or may not have been over cooked by the 'gossip columns' but that either way the

  10. says:

    London in the early 1960s is a place where casual sex is becoming acceptable but having a child out of wedlock is not Twenty six year old schol

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