Book meme: The Waterfall, Margaret Drabble

Here’s a book meme I found on Land-o-Lulu:
1) Grab the nearest book once you read this.
2) Open to page 161.
3) Find the 5th full sentence, and post the text, along with these instructions.

My results, from Margaret Drabble’s The Waterfall:

“If you had some work to do, you’d be doing it.”

The Waterfall was published in 1969. It’s about an English woman in the 60’s, before feminism and the sexual revolution but while an antiquated and pathetic class distinction is still in place. The narrator has a baby (at home! with horrid 1960’s obstetric care!) and falls in love with her cousin’s husband, who visits her to help her out in the days she’s stuck at home postpartum. It sounds really dull, but I find it pretty entertaining, even funny. It apparently really sucked to be an intelligent educated woman in a time and place when intelligence and motherhood, or even womanhood, were supposed to be two different things. The style of the book is really modern, all psychological self-analysis and internal monologue, but the narrator’s attitude towards herself and her role in the world is so antithetical to a modern American woman’s that it might as well have been written by an alien. Reading this book makes me very glad I was born in the 1970’s and that I didn’t grow up in middle-class England.

One thought on “Book meme: The Waterfall, Margaret Drabble

  1. Lulu

    My mom talks about what it iwas like to be educated and female in the 60’s, and I just can’t even fathom it. I kind of make fun of all that hardcore feministy stuff, because it was absolutely never an issue in my life. I can’t imagine thinking that I had to act a certain way, or only do certain things because of my gender. I guess we have indeed come a long way, baby.


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