An Experiment in Love by Hilary Mantel

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 A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year
It was the year after Chappaquiddick, and all spring Carmel McBain had watery dreams about the disaster. Now she, Karina, and Julianne were escaping the dreary English countryside for a London University hall of residence. Interspersing accounts of her current position as a university student with recollections of her childhood and an ever difficult relationship with her longtime schoolmate Karina, Carmel reflects on a generation of girls desiring the power of men, but fearful of abandoning what is expected and proper. When these bright but confused young women land in late 1960s London, they are confronted with a slew of new preoccupations--sex, politics, food, and fertility--and a pointless grotesque tragedy of their own.
Hilary Mantel's magnificent novel examines the pressures on women during the early days of contemporary feminism to excel--but not be too successful--in England's complex hierarchy of class and status.

About Hilary Mantel

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Hilary Mantel's novels "offer lessons in life's contrariness, in the tensions between free will, unfortunate accident, and involuntary behavior" (Los Angeles Times Book Review). She is the author of eight novels and winner of the prestigious Hawthornden Prize for Literature.
Published April 1, 2007 by Holt Paperbacks. 268 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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(Carmel suspects that the ever-envious and angry Katrina locked her in their room before fleeing.) Then, rather bafflingly, there's a perfunctory final chapter in which a much- older Carmel, cured of her anorexia and married, looks back on these events.

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London Review of Books

Hilary Mantel, born in 1952, has tried out a number of female identities – more than most of us – and succeeded more than most.

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