‘The Brothers Grimshaw’ by Joy Mutter

My Review (5 stars out of 5)

Set in London during the 1970s, this autobiographical tale is based on the author’s experiences following landing her first job after leaving art college. Based in a grotty printing firm in Kilburn, the heroine finds her new employers to be lacking in social graces and good manners, as well as promoting many of the misogynistic and sexist attitudes that were prevalent at the time.

Having read many of this author’s books, I’m familiar with her often explicit and gore-drenched tales involving sex, murder and torture, so wasn’t sure what to expect with this one. However, having been a teenager in the seventies, I soon found this novella deals with many of the opinions and behaviours that were commonplace and ‘accepted’ during those years. The book also references many of the songs I recall from my teenage years, which adds to the sense of place and time. The story is amusing, touching and occasionally a little disturbing, but always entertaining. Ms Mutter’s writing is engaging and thought-provoking and her well-drawn characters are (mostly) likeable, with an uplifting denouement that leaves the reader with a nice warm feeling inside.

An enjoyable tale of life in the 1970s, with an encouraging conclusion.

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