★ Curtis Brown Highlight Frankfurt 2011
Longmans, Green & Co (1946, 464 pages)
UK & Canada Vintage
Vintage reissue novels by Stella Gibbons including Westwood
Set in wartime London, Westwood tells the story of Margaret Steggles, a plain bookish girl whose mother has told her that she is 'not the type that attracts men'. Her schoolfriend Hilda has a sunny temperament and keeps her service boys ‘ever so cheery'.
When Margaret finds a ration book on Hampstead Heath the pompous writer Gerard Challis enters both their lives. Margaret slavishly adores Challis and his artistic circle; Challis idolises Hilda for her hair and her eyes and Hilda finds Gerard's romantic overtures a bit of a bind.
This is a delightfully comic and wistful tale of love and longing.