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INGEBORG PERTWEE
Together


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Tandem, London, 1976
(price: 50p; 220 pages)

(first published by Hamish Hamilton 1974)

dedication: For Jon


The blurb on the back:

Anna knew it was a mistake. Carla was blonde, attractive, eighteen, and the moment she came to stay with them Paul found her irresistible. It was not long before Anna discovered Carla and Paul in the throes of a passionate affair.
Frightened of losing Paul, too weak to throw Carla out, and feeling desperately insecure, Anna indulges in a wildly physical fling on holiday with a boy half her age. When it ends disastrously Anna realizes she must compromise on Paul's terms, and she allows herself to be drawn into a bizarre sexual relationship. But could she live, love and share her lover with her daughter?

'An ingeniously imagined, chillingly convincing book.' - She
'A deep insight into the sexual resonances of love and friendship.' -
New Statesman
'...a skilful and entertaining first novel' -
The Listener


Those of you who remember A Bouquet of Barbed Wire, either in its original novel form or - more likely - as a wondrous TV series with Frank Finlay as a man lusting after his daughter, played by Susan Penhaligon, will know that the 1970s were a time when familial and sexual roles were easily confused. (This was in the popular media, at any rate - as far as I recall, there was no problem keeping things straight in real life.)

Together is another variation on the theme - a woman who grew up in Berlin during the War finds her own daughter has become a rival for a man's love - but it comes with a couple of extra recommendations. Firstly, it's pretty well written and not at all dumb; and secondly, the author is Ingeborg Pertwee, wife of the great Jon himself. That's worth a couple of extra hipness points in its own right, surely.


ARTISTIC MERIT: 3/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
4/5


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