BOOK REVIEW / Paperbacks: Saving Agnes by Rachel Cusk, Picador pounds 5.99

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This charming winner of the 1993 Whitbread First Novel Award is a funny, knowing tale of middle-class, middle-twenties angst. Agnes hovers on the cusp of adolescence and adulthood, privately convinced of her inadequacy but publicly passing herself off as a success, until the twin strains of a first job and a dead love-affair provoke a spiritual crisis. Cool, resonant and accomplished prose.