McCartney articulates much more (and better) in the song of the book's title,
This review is from: She's Leaving Home (Paperback)
One of the iconic broadcasters of the 1960's and 1970's, Bakewell pitches this novel at the beginning of 1960/1961 and is told primarily via the narrative of the 16 year-old Martha, resident of (the fictional) Staveley (between Manchester and Liverpool).
Martha decides, unlike many young people of that era, that she has to leave home to get out of the cold married life of her parents and after a brief serendipitous meeting with a bunch of older, like-minded group of people, she does eventually get out of Staveley and move to Liverpool, where she she finds work, first, as an assistant to a costume/dress maker and subsequently, in a milk bar.
Her narrative is a 'rights of passage' where she is introduced to poets and musicians and engages in most of the events of that time: CND marches and protests, local Liverpool band The Beatles, as well as 'free love', all night parties and poetry reading clubs. Bakewell certainly has the writing style just right and without doubt, evokes the details and lifestyle of that era.
To be honest however, though I found the novel an easy and pleasant read, it was somewhat fragmented and I was disappointed in the plot-line and expected more - and better - from such an iconic broadcaster. Her debut novel, "All The Nice Girls" is a slightly better novel but, it proves something - at least for me - anyway , that just because someone is 'iconic' in one field, it doesn't mean that they will transfer those skills/attributes to another sphere.
In my opinion, "She's Leaving Home" (as many will know is one of the tracks from the Beatles' "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" album) is only an average novel. Indeed, McCartney articulates much much more in the three and a half minutes of that particular song than Bakewell manages in a couple of hundred pages of her novel.
Finally, Bakewell, in a scene depicting a potential rape of the lead character by a minor character - a musician, commits the mortal sin of spelling bass guitar 'base' guitar. McCartney and many other bass players would not be amused! Surprisingly, in that same scene, Bakewell uses the C*** word - a very rare occurrence in a female author.