Love in the seventies

5 01 2013

An Experiment in Love by Hilary Mantel


It is London, 1970. Carmel McBain, in her first term at university, has cut free of her childhood roots in the north. Among the gossiping, flirtatious girls of Tonbridge Hall, she begins her experiments in life and love. But the year turns. The mini-skirt falls out of style and an era of concealment begins. Carmel’s world darkens, and tragedy waits in the wings.

An Experiment in Love is a pretty compelling coming-of-age tale set in Seventies London (that’s the 20th Century, no Tudors involved). The challenges faced by a convent-educated working class northern girl trying to make her way in the rarified atmosphere of a university hall are quite convincingly represented and the spirit of the times seems to me to be extremely well captured. Overall it’s a really good read.





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