Grant bravely explores – and exposes – such unfashionable viewpoints. Her novel is at once a beautifully detailed character study, a poignant family history and a richly evocative portrait of the late 1970s. The book's sole significant flaw is its failure to establish its extensive clothing imagery as the overarching metaphor for which it strives. Attempting a career as a literary journalist, Vivien summons "all the cruelty of the first-time reviewer trying to make her mark". This long-term reviewer has mellowed, for it is a joy to welcome such a vibrant and thought-provoking book.