A Summer Bird-cage, Paperback Book
3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Two sisters: beautiful, sophisticated Louise and attractive, witty and intelligent Sarah who has always felt left behind.

Then Louise marries the wealthy but unappealing novelist Stephen Halifax, and Sarah, recently graduated from Oxford, is thrown back into family affairs.

As Louise enters a high-profile world of glamour, parties and gossip columns, Sarah, drifting in London with her degree and new-found freedom, is only allowed glimpses into this new alien life.

However, as the cracks begin to show in Louise's marriage and rumours of infidelity spread, Sarah discovers that, beneath her cool exterior, her sister is not quite the person she thought she was....




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Review by

The first Margaret Drabble I read, so many years ago, and I've read every book she's written since then!

Review by

Set in the very early 60's in London, this book tells of a year post-graduation in the life of a middle-class woman. Recently graduated from Oxford and returned from Europe to act as bridesmaid in her unapproachable sister's wedding to a snobbish author both women turn out to dislike, the young protagonist learns to see her sister as human and capable of great failings she could never have imagined for her. The novel explores the predicament of young women who are intelligent, well educated, but somewhat aimless…and naive about love, money and class. Well written and very much a product of its times, as the heroine attempts to find her place in a world no longer defined for women by marriage, love and babies. Reminded me a bit of the early, feminist Margaret Atwood novels.I also found it fascinating to learn of Margaret Drabble's real-life long-time feud with her real-life sister, the famous author A. S. Byatt! I did wonder how similar that dynamic is to the one between the sisters in this novel.

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