Girls of Slender Means – Book Review

Introduction to the title ‘Girls of slender means’  The title suggests several things.  Poverty being a central theme,  indicative also of the novel’s length being short,  financial poverty but also of mind and spirit.
Introduction to the context – when is it set?  Between the VE day and VJ day,  who the main characters are, what is the May of Tek Club,  where it is etc.

The Setting – Girls of slender means


Similar to Spark’s other work,  the setting derives from Spark’s own experience. In this case, her time working as propaganda for M1^ in post-war London when she lived in a boarding house of women ( perhaps could find the source if necessary)

The Frame narrative

Begins in 1963 when one of the former May of Tek residents,  Jane Wright, discovers that Nicholas Farringdon,  an anarchist turned priest whom she had some relation to dies.   This serves as a frame to the series of flashbacks to 1945  just after the war had ended, which make up the majority of the narrative.  – sparks manipulation of the novel form here resembles that of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,  which also involves flash forwards and disclosing later action, which takes the reader outside the chronological time.  We can view this as a critique on the attitudes of post-war Britain,  ‘ how to keep calm and carry on’,

Paragraph on the size on the young woman takes on allegorical connotations. After an undiscovered bomb explodes, they force several young women  to the top story of the building, while the larger girls escape via the skylight, Selina manages to slip through the upstairs lavatory window (
Compare the Brodie set to the may of teck residents?

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