We Had It So Good
By Linda Grant
(Scribner, Hardcover, 9781451617405, 336pp.)
Publication Date: April 26, 2011
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A generational novel which opens memorably in a fur storage house in Los Angeles with its American protagonist as a boy trying on Marilyn Monroe’s coat. When he grows up, Stephen goes to Oxford as a Rhodes scholar, and stays on to avoid the draft and Vietnam. He marries an Englishwoman, and they experience many of the things the baby boomer generation went through. Later the torch is passed to their children. In addition, Stephen’s father Si makes a dramatic reappearance after Stephen’s mother dies. This is a big, capacious novel, bursting with wonderful characters and ideas.
Linda Grant is a novelist and journalist. She won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2000 and the Lettre Ulysses Prize for the Art of Reportage in 2006. Her most recent novel, The Clothes on Their Backs, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2008. She writes for The Guardian, The Telegraph, and Vogue.
“She offers apt commentary on the human denial about aging, the evanescence of happiness, the unparalleled value of loyal friendship, and the mysterious nature of marriage.” —Boston Globe