Paperback review: Mutton, By India Knight


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The Independent Culture

At the centre of India Knight's novel is 46-year-old Clara Hutt. Clara is content with her lot, until a friend, Gaby, moves back to London from Los Angeles looking 10 years younger. Her secret is cosmetic surgery – lots of it – and Clara is tempted to give it a try.

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It's refreshing to read a novel about a female mid-life crisis (God knows there have been enough about the male variety), and there are some funny lines here (Clara's ex has moved to Australia, and she imagines him with "a hypothetical new girlfriend called Sheila, all tinnies and sun damage"). But I found the atmosphere of unexamined upper middle-class privilege – the characters have a quick nip and tuck then saunter off to do cocaine in the toilets at Claridge's – a bit off-putting.