Lorna Sage’s memoir of childhood and adolescence is a brilliantly written bravura piece of work, which vividly and wickedly brings to life her eccentric family and somewhat bizarre upbringing in the small town of Hanmer, on the border between Wales and Shropshire. The period as well as the place is evoked with crystal clarity: from the 1940s, dominated for Lorna by her dissolute but charismatic vicar grandfather, through the 1950s, where the invention of fish fingers revolutionised the lives of housewives like Lorna’s mother, to the brink of the 1960s, where the community is shocked by Lorna’s pregnancy at 16, an event which her grandmother blamed on ‘the fiendish invention of sex’.
Often extremely funny,and always intelligent, this unique memoir was instantly hailed as a classic upon its first publication.
Reviews of Bad Blood
‘“Bad Blood” is pretty much in a class of its own…It is a measure of her achievement that she can turn the peculiarities of her own past – and they are peculiar – into a narrative that speaks for the whole of post-war Britian … This is not just an exquisite personal memoir, it is a vital piece of our collective past.’ Daily Telegraph
‘A wonderful book. Women need this kind of book but perhaps men need it more, to give the sort of understanding which we still lack of how girls actually grow up.’ Margaret Forster
‘This could have been the saddest book you have ever read, but because of Lorna Sage’s relish in the details, her exuberant celebration of the vitality of this clever, surviving girl, it is as enjoyable a book as I remember reading.’ Doris Lessing