THE L-SHAPED ROOM by Lynne Reid Banks


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A reminder of Nathaniel Benchley's One To Grow On soap opera bouffe, in which an unwed mother-to-be found new friends to help her through the ordeal ahead in a rooming house, this - without the bouffe- tells of Jane Graham, who takes an L-shaped room in an impossibly dingy London house and neighborhood. Jane too finds protective fellow-lodgers, of a somewhat different sort, particularly John, a Negro musician, and Toby, a free lance writer, with whom she falls in love. But she has a pretty thin time of it- beginning with the doctor who offers to abort her and her father who tells her to clear out, continuing with the loss of her job, the fairly fthy (bedbugs) conditions in which she is living, and the months of feeling sick. An independent girl, she is still sure she wants to keep her baby- and sure she doesn't want help from its father (a casual affair) even though he does turn up and behaves more chivalrously than she would have expected. There are still other helping hands- an aunt who offers her a home and gives her an interval of work, her repentant father; and finally the hope that she can work something out with Toby- who has gone off to make a success of his writing- and perhaps forget his hurt.... A two-way stretch between sentiment-and the physical and emotional realities of having a baby, this is woman talk- and with it a good deal of humor and a natural bid for sympathy.

Pub Date: March 27th, 1961
Publisher: Simon & Schuster