We Had It So Good, By Linda Grant


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They thought they were born to be young forever, but the baby boomer generation proved as vulnerable to wrinkles and grey hair as everyone else. Grant's authoritative new novel examines what happens when the boomers hit middle-age.

At its heart is the marriage of Stephen and Andrea Newman. He's a Jewish American who comes to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, making the Atlantic crossing with Bill Clinton. She's from the West Country and wafts around the quads in an "ankle-length green velvet robe". They settle in a North London squat and drift towards respectability.

Grant has empathy for the couple's hippy-dippy beginnings, but as Stephen's son points out: "These are just stories they tell us to make us think that once upon a time they were interesting."