Diary Of An Ordinary Woman Paperback – 4 Mar 2004
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"A highly enjoyable read: well-informed, gripping...an overview of the period seen from the underside" (Sunday Telegraph)
"Not only is the background of social and political change meticulously accurate...but there is everything one would expect from a well-kept diary. This is fiction: yet it is true" (Guardian)
"A beautifully crafted novel about the cost of war... Forster is as distinguished a biographer and memoir-writer as she is a novelist. She is an old hand at making a story out of the fragments of a life" (Daily Telegraph)
"We believe in Millicent whole-heartedly and come to love her - she has a heroism that George Eliot would recognise. It may be fiction, but it's also - convincingly, tragically and often exhilaratingly - real life" (Independent on Sunday)
"A richly textured, skilfully structured and highly enjoyable novel by an experienced writer at the peak of her powers" (Times Literary Supplement)
'I rushed through this novel and enjoyed it enormously - what she experienced in her very "ordinariness" was shared by thousands of real women of her generation' Val Hennessey, Daily MailSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The rest of my day will be spent adjusting to the fact that there is no Millicent King!!
No passive product of a Victorian upbringing - she is an intelligent, fiesty and determindly independent person and following her life gives us an intriging insight into how her generation coped with the awful tragedy of two world wars. Although I was often moved to tears, her diary entries are also highly amusing - Millicent often being as opinionated and judgemental as a spoiled child.
The other characters are just as strong and interesting and you long to know more of them. Can't say more than this without giving plot details away.
Like other reviewers, I ignored the words "A Novel" on the front cover - you can't and don't want to believe this is fiction.
Millicent King's life related to that of my mother and grandmothers, to my aunts and uncles and cousins - to all who lived through war and suffered the consequences.
I think that Margaret Forster is a brilliant author and may she continue to write on and on ....
Despite finding Millicent a rather unpleasant pretentious child, who thought more of herself and her abilities than anyone around her, I thought that the transition of the character into womanhood, albeit a cold young woman, was done very well. However, there were many parts of the book that just didn't feel right. In many respects her life was too good to be true: her class and her independent wealth were too convenient. Forster seemed to avoid the challenge of writing a truely ordinary woman's life and instead settled for a rather priveleged life, nestled in the environs of Primrose Hill.
The first major relationships of Millicent's life run in paralell, one of platonic love and the other of loveless passion. However, many women of the age would have had to be far more pragmatic in order to leave the family home. I found it deeply frustrating after the final 'reveal' that the tool Forster uses to skip the really difficult emotional bits of Millicent's life - having her character not record these events in her diary because she's so traumatised. I think it was meant to work as a plot device but it felt lazy to me. I'd also question whether it's at all feasible that a single woman working as a social worker in 30s London having an affair with her married senior wouldn't have been sacked or moved to another authority, rather than just raising a few eyebrows. Life wasn't that permissable. Millicent is portrayed as upper middle class, but she didn't have the freedom of the aristocracy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great read. Captivating social history told through the eyes of Millicent.Published 1 month ago by Lou
Well written and absorbing story of a woman who had similar experiences to many of her generation. Very enjoyable, I intend to read more of her work.Published 3 months ago by Pat Shaw
II loved this book and found it to be compulsive reading The style is brisk and carries the story well The story illustrated the major occurences of the twentieth century through... Read morePublished 3 months ago by E J Herriott
Riveting read. I am loving it. Has a gentleness that is also a real page turner. Classic Margaret ForsterPublished 4 months ago by Suebee