By: Margaret Drabble
Written and set in Swinging London in the mid-1960s, The Millstone is a story of
a common predicament, told in an uncommon manner. Rosamund Stacey - attractive,
intellectual, conscientious, and self-sufficient - is intimidated by the idea of
sex, and has successfully managed to avoid it altogether until her late twenties.
When her first sexual encounter leaves her pregnant, her life contracts and expands
in unforeseeable ways, as her perceptions are heightened and her preconceptions
softened. Structured as a coming-of-age novel, but slightly inverted, The Millstone
presents the true awakening of a young woman who had already considered herself
enlightened. Drabble's sensitive, humane portrait of the 1960s sexual revolution in
Britain is as fresh and relevant as if it came off the presses today.
Reviewer: Missy Nelson