Vintage £7.99 (311pp)
Paperback: In the Dark, by Deborah Moggach
Friday 14 March 2008
Deborah Moggach's hugely enjoyable 17th novel is set in a rundown lodging house near Southwark during the final years of the First World War. Landlady Eithne Clay has been running the business since the death of her ineffectual husband, helped only by her 16-year-old son, Ralph, and Winnie, her reliable maid. The shabby rooms are home to a dozen or so lost souls including a blind communist, an incontinent old lady and a traumatised war veteran. Into this dreary world strides Neville Turk, a butcher and local black marketeer who has long profited from the fact that "many women would drop their drawers for a pound of mince". Eithne, with pretensions to being genteel, needs more than mince to oblige. She soon finds herself wooed by gifts of glistening lamb chops and crimson top side. Adolescent Ralph, repulsed by this distressingly carnal turn of events, turns vegetarian and tries to get sent to the front, while Winnie seeks solace in an affair of her own.As ever, Moggach deftly weaves politics and social history into a tightly told story of ordinary disappointments and mismatched desires. The battles that are played out in the kitchens of south London may not be quite as grisly as the ones simultaneously being waged on the Western Front, but the damage proves no less severe.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
- 5 Friends reunion: Jennifer Anniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Great British Bake Off 2014: Diana Beard quits due to illness
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Homer Simpson takes the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he does
Friends reunion: Jennifer Anniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Great British Bake Off embroiled in Baked Alaska 'sabotage' scandal
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >