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I'm Not Complaining (VMC) Hardcover – 8 Sep 1983


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; New Ed edition (8 Sep 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0860682552
  • ISBN-13: 978-0860682554
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,491,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Provincial Lady on 23 Sep 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first read this about 25 years ago, when books published by Virago were freely available in public libraries.
The novel is set in the 1930s in a deprived area of Nottingham, and concerns the staff and pupils of an Elementary school. Most of the children are from very poor families; the teachers are mainly from a higher class, yet do not earn a great deal, so they live in lodgings or share houses with other women. Madge, the narrator, takes on some adult education classes (as we would call them now) to earn a little more, and these classes turn out to be very difficult. (Imagine the exuberance of ‘Grange Hill’ with slightly older pupils, add a lot of unpleasantness and even violence, and you’ve got it).
It’s a strange title, but Madge doesn’t complain. She is very accepting of her life, and narrates in a very matter-of-fact way which is entirely convincing. Occasionally she worries about her future – hence the evening classes.
The teachers are a mixed bunch, including a Communist and one who has come from the same social class as her pupils, but who is now ‘respectable’ – or is she? – she has to deal with pregnancy and abortion, a truly shocking thing at that time for an unmarried woman. The father of her baby is one half of a rather silly Bohemian couple who have a sort of open marriage.
The mothers of the schoolchildren have their own respectability, shunning any girl who is forced into prostitution to earn money.
The Great War hangs over the novel; the caretaker is shell-shocked, and the Headmistress, we find, was engaged to a man who was severely wounded and who now lives in ‘one of those homes.’
The introduction by Janet Morgan is informative.
This is an absorbing book, especially for those interested in social history, and deserves to be better known.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By elizabeth acevedo on 18 Aug 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Read this quickly could not put it down. Its a great book
for primary school teachers. And its social history.
Wonderful read. Reasonating those times and how
society functioned. Brings back memories, lost and forgotten.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
re-evaluating my previous review 27 Sep 2010
By Lady Love - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Seller acknowledged error and without asking, gave me a full refund on product, even though I had not asked for any.
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