by Matthew D'Ancona
The critics are divided over this novel by the deputy editor and political columnist for London's Sunday Telegraph newspaper. In the first chapter, the protagonist, Mia, is a successful twentysomething from an upper-class family. Chapter two skips four years ahead. Mia lives alone and has a lowly paid job in an alternative health centre. D'Ancona gives Mia a few adventures with colourful characters, as we find out what happened to her family. The writer has been praised for his vivid portrait of London's East End. He was inspired to write the book after moving to Bethnal Green, and has been compared to Dickens in more than one review. But he's also been panned for patronising the working classes.