Adrienne Fox is a retired musician who began her literary career reviewing concerts. This is her fifth novel. The other novels are the following: The Retirement, Starstruck, Tit for Tat, and IQ.
Adrienne Fox writes about life in Britain from 1941–1963, when old traditions came head-to-head with new ideas as wartime austerity gave way to the Swinging Sixties. She colorfully describes growing up in a constant conflict of the morals, views, and opinions at a time when material goods were in short supply, conversation took the place of electronic entertainment, and serious communication was restricted to letter writing. Through wry humor, she tells of her efforts to understand family conflicts and of her own ill-formed ambitions.
Desperately wanting to please in order to “keep the peace” but frequently appearing to fall short, “Can’t do right for doing wrong” aptly describes periods of her progress.
Her story paints a tragic-comic picture of the incidents and attitudes within the time frame beginning in a northern industrial town, where the ration books vied with the hymn books in the family home, to college life in London and trying to find a job.