Behaving Badly

Behaving Badly

3.38 (13 ratings by Goodreads)
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Bridget has always behaved well. When her husband Mark discarded her for a younger woman, Bridget did the civilized thing - she moved out of the house and into a modest flat. But after five years Bridget has had enough, so she decides to move back into the matrimonial home and start behaving more

Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 108 x 172 x 16mm | 140.61g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • 0749001704
  • 9780749001704

Review Text

In Lady on the Burning Deck (1979), Heath ticked off the amusing miseries of middle-class Londoners coping with the rotten doings of their offspring; here there are similar, darker wrangles - as the younger generation looks "bleakly and directly at their parents' muddied and pitiful lives. They had no responsibility. . . yet it gave them pain." Svelte, successful Phyllida Mayor is the prime victim here, though her Battersea flat-mates - Jonathan, Giles, and Serafina - also have severe parental woes. Phyllida's father Mark, who divorced mum Bridget five years back, is now married to young Rebecca, living in the old Hampstead homestead - along with his mean old mother Frieda (who hates Rebecca). Meanwhile, Bridget is floundering in drear but "busy behaving splendidly" - until she blunders into a black church-meeting, is smitten with the style of Rev. Daniel Johnson, and thereupon decides that she's had it with "splendid." Her first un-splendid act? She resolutely moves in with ex-hubby Mark and Rebecca: grandma Frieda is delighted; Mark is aghast; Rebecca is cool; Phyllida grimly announces to her mates that "Mother has stopped being splendid." Then, when pregnant Rebecca starts planning for Bridget to be a live-in babysitter, Bridget determines to move in with Phyllida, who's furious. ("I will do," explains Bridget firmly, "what I want. . . it's no good appealing to my better nature.") So, as Phyllida storms off to Hampstead, Bridget storms into the Battersea apartment, already invaded by Giles' unsavory old grandfather Herbert Redditch (whom Social Security won't touch with a ten-foot pole). And while Phyllida somehow falls in love with the above-mentioned Rev. Johnson, sex-starved Bridget expands her fantasy life with young Giles. . . and will ultimately take off with him (whee!) after two merciful (but horridly arranged) grandparent demises. More acidulous than warmly humorous - but virtuoso bad behavior is the name of this fairly funny game. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

13 ratings
3.38 out of 5 stars
5 23% (3)
4 15% (2)
3 38% (5)
2 23% (3)
1 0% (0)
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