It’s walking on eggshells reading Virginia Ironside’s novel of defiance among the sixty-somethings. Her heroine Marie doesn’t just hate bookclubs, she also hates Open University courses, counselling, religion, men in suits, the country, and people who go to the theatre.
Not that Marie thinks of herself as a bilious reactionary. On the contrary, she is at pains to establish her liberal credentials and her open-minded, ever youthful embrace of the modern world. ‘A peaceable, Anti-War march, watering-dried-up-plants-in-strange-restaurants, picking-up-wounded-worms-from-roads-and-placing-them-on-cool-grassy-banks-kind-of-person’, as she smugly describes herself. She is keen to read novels about