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The Middle Ground by Margaret Drabble
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The Middle Ground (1980)

by Margaret Drabble

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I read halfway through but found I just could not read another page. I would have stopped earlier but felt badly that I wasn't giving the book a chance.

One reason the book bothered me is that there was an endless cast of characters; new ones introduced every page or so and hard to keep up with who was who to whom. Second reason was that while it seemed like lots was happening, in reality, it seemed that both nothing much was happening or too much happened.

I found it depressing and whiny. ( )
  Bookish59 | Jan 3, 2015 |
“The Middle Ground” is basically a novel without a plot, a book driven by the characters. A middle aged group of British spouses, lovers and friends seeks to find their ways through mid-life crises time.

Kate, a journalist, sees her job changing and maybe going away; she has been a writer of pieces about women, their problems and how society is wronging them. She had a liaison for many years with the husband of her best friend, with the blessings of said friend, as said friend didn’t want to have sex with the man any longer. That’s over now. Her children have grown up and no longer need her. What is next for her? What is next for her friends, who are also at changing points in their lives?

While mainly about the changes of middle age, this novel was written from a feminist viewpoint in the era when so many authors were writing feminist novels. Thankfully, this one has men who are not all selfish idiots. Well, her ex-lover is a selfish idiot, but the others aren’t. Everyone in this story is flawed but with a basic core of decency and respect for others; this is not a book of good and evil caricatures but of realism. The book follows them as they go about their everyday live, lives full of the same pains, problems and joys we all share. Though far from being Drabble’s best work, ‘Middle Ground’ is a warm paean to friendship and survival. ( )
  lauriebrown54 | Jan 4, 2013 |
This story about a woman going through a kind of mid-life self-examination was not especially inspiring or engaging for me. I'm not sure why...the basic idea would normally appeal to me. I suspect that a major contributing factor may be that much of the book is written from the point of view of an objective and distant narrator. Maybe there's also an element of me, a mid-50s man, being somewhat distant from the main character, an early 40s woman with a 'creative' background. I certainly saw her as a very different sort of person to me, but that hasn't stopped me from finding interest in other books. Maybe I'm not a Drabble kind of person? ( )
  oldblack | Oct 5, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Drabble, Margaretprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bromet, StellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Thoughtfully, Kate cut up Hugo's steak and spread each piece with a dab of mustard, then started to turn over her own spinach with her fork, as though inspecting it.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0804103623, Mass Market Paperback)

The classic bigraphy of Queen Victoria, reissued in advance of the centenary of her death. Lady Longford regards her with undisguised affection and respect - respect for the iron sense of duty which impelled the secluded widow to emerge at last and rule her empire as a mother, her family as a Queen.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:52 -0400)

A successful journalist and vibrant woman in her forties pauses in her life before opening herself to the unseen future.

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