I’ve been treating myself. It is an act of great discipline for me to eke out the Mantel that I have not yet read. I loved this; a fantastically dark coming-of-age novel.
An Experiment In Love has all the hallmarks of my favourite Mantel — sinister but wickedly funny. Three girls from a Lancashire grammar go to university in London and share a halls of residence. Set in 1970, Mantel explores the rapidly shifting politics of class, religion and sexual liberation.
Don’t be fooled by the relatively genteel first half or so; this is not your typical story of female friendship and rivalry. It ends with very high drama, which took me by surprise even though you think I’d know better by now (if you’ve read Every Day is Mother’s Day, this will feel familiar). But it made me laugh — so very, very much.