Jerusalem the Golden, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


Brought up in a stifling, emotionless home in the north of England, Clara finds freedom when she wins a scholarship and travels to London.

There, she meets Clelia and the rest of the Denham family: brilliant and charming, they dazzle Clara with their flair for life, and Clara yearns to be part of their bohemian world.

But while she will do anything to join their circle, she gives no thought to the chaos that she may cause...

In this captivating story of growing up and moving on, Margaret Drabble explores what it means to leave a disregarded childhood and family behind.


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'she pictured...some truly terrestrial paradise, where beautiful people in beautiful houses spoke of beautiful things', 5 Jan 2015This review is from: Jerusalem the Golden (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)Written in the 1960s, this is the story of Clara Maugham, the academic daughter of an upper working-class family in northern England. Always aware that there is a better world out there than the ugly town of her birth, and her grim-faced mother, Clara puts all her energies into escape to university.Once there, the thought of going home for holidays fills her with dread, especially after meeting the fascinating Denham family - writer parents with apparently wonderful offspring - notably her friend, Clelia, and the utterly charming Gabriel...Does Clara's full-scale adoption of the Denhams' tastes and beliefs show a certain immaturity? Clara even acknowledges to herself 'she had sought the smartly intense, at the expense of the more solid and dowdy virtues.'But as she grows up and has to gather her strength to make her life what she wants, she realises they were a means of 'self-advancement' - and through her association she has indeed advanced enough not to be held back by others' claims on her.

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