The Millstone

Drabble, Margaret. The Millstone. San Diego: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1965.

Reason read: June is national family month.

Rosamund is pregnant. In her world, this might be okay if she was married and looking to start a family. The problem is, she is a Renaissance literature scholar pursuing her doctorate and living off mommy and daddy while they tour Africa. She only became pregnant right after her first and only sexual encounter. She’s as naive as they come. She had been dating two guys at once and was still a virgin…until she met George (who she thought was gay and therefore had nothing to worry about). It is very telling when she asks herself, “I wondered on how many other serious scores would I find myself ignorant” (p 44). Just wait until you read how she thought she could make herself miscarry.
But, all is not lost. When Rosamund decides to keep the baby and starts to experience motherhood first hand a new personality emerges.

Lines I liked, “The gin kept me gay and undespairing and I thought that I might ring up George and tell him about it” (p 20), “She just stared straight ahead and the word that was written on her face was endurance” (p 75), “I knew something now of the quality of life, and anything in the way of happiness that I should hereafter receive would be based on fact and not hope” (p 158).

Author fact: A.S. Byatt and Margaret Drabble are sisters.

Book trivia: Drabble writes in pages-long paragraphs that I sometimes found distracting. Of note: there aren’t any chapters so finding good stopping points was tricky.

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “All in the Family: Writer Dynasties” (p 6).


One Comment on “The Millstone”

  1. Loved this book. Bronte


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