POOR COW by Nell Dunn
Kirkus Star


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Nell Dunn's Up the Junction (1966), a series of snapshots, casually connected, of the underside of modern, urban England, introduced her as a writer of talent. Here, no further above street level, is a short, more centralized novel, written with just as sure a touch of life as it is... for Joy, hardly past twenty, who daydreams--""potty really""--of a ""proper little home."" Instead she's in a flat with Tom, having his child, Jonny (lovely scenes throughout--Joy and this infant of hers) when Tom is off to jail. He's a petty thief, and so is Dave with whom, this time, she really falls in love: ""Might be six months of happiness and anyway it's six months of life got through."" It's less, however, and he gets a twelve year sentence. From then on she's on her own, as a barmaid, as a model (a euphemism), still writing to Dave, and dreaming of that cottage in the country with Jonny while touching up old men, and never losing that ""Whole lot of longing what never comes true."" Her aunt Emm tells her she's been too soft and genuine--that's her trouble. It is also the achievement of the book which is ineffably appealing.

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 1967
Publisher: Doubleday