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Afternoon of a Good Woman

Afternoon of a Good Woman [Kindle Edition]

Nina Bawden
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.00
Kindle Price: £3.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description


One of the wisest and most versatile of our novelists ... an intriguing achievement (CHRISTOPHER WORDSWORTH, THE GUARDIAN)

So intelligent and clear-eyed that every page seems to peel another layer of pretence, social custom or humbug from the surface of the life it describes (ISABEL QUIGLEY, FINANCIAL TIMES)

Book Description

* An engaging novel about public appearance and private behaviour not always matching up...

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 240 KB
  • Print Length: 191 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; New edition edition (5 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #34,474 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A woman's lib... 13 April 2008
By Annabel Gaskell VINE VOICE
Written in 1976, this short novel is quite forward thinking for its time. Penelope has decided to leave her husband after twenty years of marriage. Her reasons are many and complex; and interspersed with the minutiae of her working day - essentially the first day of the rest of her life, as she prepares to strike out for independence, we gradually peel away the layers of her life to see what has led her to this point.
The author very skilfully intrigues us with clues and little revelations leading to larger ones until Pen makes her final decision. Superb structure and written with humour, irony and pathos.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great writer 21 Nov 2012
By Tea bag
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well written and gripping in a gentle way. Good to realise that this childrens' writer is also a great writer for adults
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars more readers need to know about her 26 July 2006
By D. Monroe - Published on
A lovely book. It was published in the 1970s. But its theme--that taking note of our own goodness is a fairly selfish way of insuring our well-being--is so contemporary. It's about changing definitions of what it means to be a good woman.

It has a wild sense of humor. It's unpredictable. In terms of plot, it's as well-designed as a prism. I read it in an afternoon.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I had trouble getting into it, but I was rewarded by continuing 10 Nov 2008
By Delaney - Published on
Initially I had a little trouble getting into this book, I kept picking it up and putting it down. Maybe it was simply a mood thing.

Anyway, once I got into the book a little more I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the book. I don't know if you would call this a story per se. Penelope has decided to leave her husband, you know that from the first line of the book. Penelope is also a magistrate and on her way to sit on the bench, while she is in the process of judging others, she is judging her own actions, her own life. Would she pass the jury test? So while Penelope has a case going on in front of her, we see flashbacks of Penelope's life that she either has guilt for or she can account for them leading up to her actions of today.

Penelope has been a good woman. She's led a small but good life. But she's hit a wall, and she doesn't like where she's been, and yet she feels guilt for her latest decision and begins putting her "good woman" image on trial.

This is a very interesting concept of judging your peers and comparing your own actions to things they have done. There is a lot to discuss in a book like this. It's a relatively short book, but it is packed with "moments".

The ending was superb!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bawden's Penelope makes superb reading 2 Dec 2004
By KatPanama - Published on
I gobbled this up in a single afternoon and wanted more so I guess I'm proving myself a Bawden wench.

It's not accidental our protaganist is named Penelope but it's obvious in this superb novel that our Penelope is significantly more tasked, fraught and self-conscious than was Odysseus' model spouse. She's our guide to dissecting "good" and "bad" in terms of the roles we play or don't. Finest kind.

If you've not yet read Bawden, then the time is upon you.
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