The February read for the bookclub is “Anna of the Five Towns” by Arnold Bennett. ‘Deeply moving, original, and dealing with material that I had never encountered in fiction, but only in life’ – Margaret Drabble. Growing up in the world of the ‘five towns’ of industrial England, with their furnaces and chimneys, huddled red-brown streets, prayer meetings and small-minded bigotry, Anna is dominated by her miserly and tyrannical father. When she inherits a fortune and finds love, she struggles to break free from the constraints upon her, even though she is torn between duty and her deepest feelings. Arnold’s novel of parental tyranny and rebellion is a portrayal of a woman of great spirit, complexity and integrity.
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