A Girl In Winter

An out-of-print edition, with its memorable, evocative cover art.

An out-of-print edition, with its memorable, evocative cover art.

I really enjoyed this -- and I hope it's all right if I say that I think it especially accomplished, considering that the poet-author was very young at time of writing it (24, if my memory is correct). It's a coming-of-age story told largely in retrospect, but not entirely; it takes up a favourite theme of mine as a writer, which is the difference between perception and reality and the way that people feel they move back and forth between distorted and actually reliable views. They may, of course, be wrong, even at the supposed moment of clarity.  I found the end of the book especially memorable, emotionally catching: and that's the sign of a writer that knows his business. After writing this (in 1947), Larkin dropped the novel as a medium that he thought others did better in; but I'm glad he bothered. Almost no life is too short for fitting this into it, in my opinion.