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The Middling

A. L. Barker

The Middling: Chapters in the Life of Ellie Toms by A. L. Barker was described by Rebecca West as ‘The finest book written by a woman in our time.’

Format
Paperback
ISBN
9780571254125
Date Published
17.09.2009
Delivery
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Summary

The Middling: Chapters in the Life of Ellie Toms by A. L. Barker was described by Rebecca West as ‘The finest book written by a woman in our time.’

As a child, Ellie compulsively lies her way into trouble. How else can she escape the reality of being a railway clerk’s daughter in a Crystal Palace villa?

She wants to love, but it never seems to work out right. She idealizes a beautiful school friend, only to uncover (with morbid fascination) a strange relationship between her friend and a middle-aged chemist. Her first affair is too good to last. It leads to a pregnancy and an uneasy menage a trois, which finally erupts into brutal vengeance.

After fifteen years of struggling with a marriage to the wrong man, Ellie starts drinking. It seems as good an escape as any at first. But it’s another mistake. . .

A. L.Barker

A. L. Barker (1918-2002) was a short story writer and novelist. Born in St Paul’s Cray, Kent, she lived in the same milieu where London borders on Kent and Surrey, for the rest of her life. As her Oxford DNB entry says it was ‘the chief setting for her work, which often seemed to partake of the quotidian mysteriousness and…

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