The Pure Gold Baby by Margaret Drabble

I always enjoy Margaret Drabble's books, and this was no exception.  Perceptive and intelligent, The Pure Gold Baby tells the tale of a young unmarried mother with a 'pure gold baby', i.e. a happy baby with special needs.  Set in the Fifties and Sixties, this book has an atmosphere of nostalgia and compares the more innocent times of this era with today.

Jess, an anthropologist who lives in Bloomsbury, has a particular interest in Africa and African children.  The book cleverly contrasts our ideas of African life with our ways, and it also discusses how Jess manages to combine her work with her raising of Anna. It's easy-to-read, but it's also full of challenging propositions that will make you think.


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