My Darling Villain


I read this book as a teenager.In fact I read it often, read and re-read it, borrowing if from the local library.I recently bought it over the internet, and have just re-read it.And I still love it, although can see it a bit more critically now.

Kate is a middle class London girl, who meets working class Mark in bizarre circumstances.Kate and Mark are well matched - they enjoy political arguments, are both bright, and physically attracted to each other.But their family differences get in the way.

As a teenager, I loved the romance element of the book.It's a very good look at first love and some of the issues that brings.It's a very English book though, with it's huge emphasis on class, and I think that made it less attractive to the average reader outside Britain.Racism and sexism are easier to see, but unless you move between the social classes, "classism" is hard to define.As a child growing up in a town dominated by a port, most of the families I knew were working class and it wasn't til I was an adult that I could see the difference having middle class parents made to the choices in a child's life.

it was lovely to re-read it.kate's brother Alistair is my biggest criticism - towards the end of the story he gives advice that is probably too mature and too educated for the character he's supposed to be, but I certainly didn't pick it up at the time.I'm sure I'll reread it again in a few years.Surprisingly I'd forgotten the ending, but remembered so much of the teenage romance side lol!

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