This novel is beautifully written and I absolutely loved it. I've become an instant Anthony Quinn fan and am about to dive into his debut novel 'Rescue Man'.
At the heart of 'Half of the Human Race' is a compelling 'will they - won't they' Austen style English romance, which takes place from the end of Queen Victoria's reign through to the first world war - which not only blighted human life but changed the role of women in society.
Will Maitland, a rising county cricket star; a man of traditional means and patriarchal opinions meets Constance Calloway; an unwavering suffragette, would-be surgeon working in a book shop. The author tells his excellent tale from the point of view of both protagonists, portraying their gender specific worlds equally.
His significant other characters are engaging and well drawn; especially Will's hero, a legendary batsman and Connie's friend, a Bohemian artist. Descriptions throughout the book are vivid and true, from the horrors of Holloway to the terror of the trenches. Quinn also covers the misunderstandings of mental illness during that period; highlighting the fact that failure and suicide issues are not a 'modern' medical disorder.
The entire novel is well crafted, thoroughly researched and detailed in development. The prose is elegant and the pace a perfect pitch. If Anthony Quinn holds a tight rein on his novel, it would make a wonderful British film.
Highly recommended (even if you don't like cricket!).