An Experiment in Love

An Experiment in Love

3.62 (1,340 ratings by Goodreads)
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  A "New York Times Book Review" Notable Book of the Year  It was the year after Chappaquiddick, and all spring Carmel McBain had watery dreams about the disaster. Now she, Karina, and Julianne were escaping the dreary English countryside for a London University hall of residence. Interspersing accounts of her current position as a university student with recollections of her childhood and an ever difficult relationship with her longtime schoolmate Karina, Carmel reflects on a generation of girls desiring the power of men, but fearful of abandoning what is expected and proper. When these bright but confused young women land in late 1960s London, they are confronted with a slew of new preoccupations--sex, politics, food, and fertility--and a pointless grotesque tragedy of their own.  Hilary Mantel's magnificent novel examines the pressures on women during the early days of contemporary feminism to excel--but not be "too" successful--in England's complex hierarchy of class and more

Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 130 x 194 x 20mm | 181.44g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • 0140243755
  • 9780140243758

Review quote

"With all its brilliance, its sharpness, and its clear-eyed wit, "An Experiment in Love" is a haunting book."--Margaret Atwood, "The New York Times Book Review"  "Mantel has several points in common with Graham Greene: she can make your flesh creep with horror and especially with the apprehension of it."--"New York Review of Books"  "Terrifically satisfying."--"Elle"show more

Review Text

Moving, in the 1970s, from a terraced house in a small Lancashire cotton town, via the Convent School ('where discouragement was wielded like an intangible baton') to London University was, for Julianne, Karina and Carmen (through whose eyes we view the experience) like skipping a generation and entering a foreign land. A witty, sardonic, astute and acutely observant account of confused feminine rebellion - and the Catholic church. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

1,340 ratings
3.62 out of 5 stars
5 16% (214)
4 43% (573)
3 31% (416)
2 9% (117)
1 1% (20)
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