Rosemary Stoyle

Portia’s Problem

Shouting At The Ship Men

By

Gollancz 352pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Portia the Canadian daughter of an English father, comes to London to satisfy a curiosity and a craving. She is twenty-seven, and works for the Toronto Herald; she has never got over her father’s suicide, when she was fourteen, and remains more or less at war with her mother. She has had lovers in plenty, for she is, everyone assures her, very beautiful, but as the novel opens she is my earning for a new love and a chance to find her English roots. In this version of the tale, Cinderella finds her Prince at the beginning, on a pavement, and in possession of an aunt who is an editor with a job going. Luke himself offers the spare room in his flat. For a weekly column of a thousand words (which, fortunately, she can knock off in forty minutes), she is set up in London, in close proximity to a handsome, charming and well-bred young Englishman, a city banker. Who would have thought she could foul that up?

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Half-way through The Conquest of Water I felt as if I had been subjected to the literary equivalent of excessive c… ,
    • 'Volume five, then, but still no end in sight. Sandbrook is clearly enjoying himself so much he can’t bear the seri… ,
    • 'By the end of the book something so weighty, stylish and impressive has been built up that one feels far nearer to… ,
    • 'Her ensuing psychotic episode is described so convincingly ... that the reader will wonder if Dobrakovová did not… ,
    • 'The perspectives complement and contest one another, amounting to a glorious, atmospheric set of ventriloquisms.'… ,
    • RT : I reviewed The Testaments for . I will not be taking any questions at this time. ,
    • 'The Testaments is, first and foremost, a manual of resistance ... a type of resistance that is organised, articula… ,