Having watched the movie adaptation of this and not being particularly engaged by it despite Judi Dench’s typically brilliant performance, I was a little disheartened to find the book on my MA reading list. I figured best to get it over with and read it in the run up to the course start date and was pleasantly surprised. The book just works where the movie, for me, didn’t. It’s success is entirely due to the brilliance of the narrative voice, all the events filtered through the unreliable, bitter, middle-aged narrator, Barbara. A classic example of how a book can do so much more to engage the reader than film. I didn’t like Barbara but her voice and her ‘story’ gripped me, even with my already knowing the plot. Looking forward to discussing this one with my tutorial group.