An Experiment in Love



I love when an author hits the big time later in his or her career, like Hillary Mantel, who won the Man Booker in 2009 for Wolf Hall, and who won it again this year for its sequel, Bringing Up The Bodies. Having read both books, and loved them, I started searching Mantel’s back catalogue and came up with a piece of treasure, namely An Experiment In Love. 

Set in 1971 its the story of three girls, Carmel, Karina and Juliette who leave their bleak northern town to go to university, and halls of residence, and a whole new world of post-teenage concerns. Beautifully written, with extremely black humor, the book truly comes to sparkling life in the passages about Carmel’s childhood relationship with her angry, dominating mother. They bring to mind Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, andt the same writer’s recent memoir, Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?

Carmel’s bleak outlook on life, underpinned by her dysfunctional relationship with her mother and her childhood friend/nemesis, Karina, is the glue that holds this book together, as the girls face anorexia, unwanted pregnancies, and a shocking denouement none of them could ever have imagined.

If you want a good. absorbing read, look no further.

About Brian Finnegan

My second novel, Knowing Me Knowing You was published in May 2013. It's about a teenage ABBA fan club who reunite 30 years later to travel to Stockholm to an ABBA reunion concert. My first novel, The Forced Redundancy Film Club, was published last year. It's the story of five people who loose their jobs on the same day and set up a club where they watch classic films in each other's houses every month. My full-time day job is as editor of GCN magazine in Ireland.

Posted on December 4, 2012, in Bits 'n' Pieces and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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