Mods and Rockers
I was drawn to this book because of the time period it is set in - I wasn't even a twinkle in my mother's eye during the heyday of the Mods and the Rockers but it still feels almost close enough to touch, almost as if I could have been there. Maybe because my early childhood was set to a backdrop of the Sixties Sounds courtesy of my mum's rather Rocker collection and my dad's rather Mod collection of LPs.
This is really Linda's story and yes, it has a great deal of the coming-of-age saga about it. However, you are not beat over the head with it and the author allows events to unfold naturally on to the page and the characters are complex and multi-dimensional. Initially you are lulled in to a sense of a rather mundane tale of two wannabe-Mod girls who are going to get in to trouble with the company they keep; fortunately this is not what you get.
The story itself takes you from the Corn Exchange to the Aldemaston March, stopping off in Paris, Wethersfield Air Force Base and Wormwood Scrubs. Sandra might only want to get married but Linda wants more from life - she just doesn't know what. Until that is she meets Sylvie, damaged and ostracised by the community it is Sylvie that provides the perfect foil to Linda's story.
Overall I did enjoy the book, the story moves at a leisurely pace and at times I did find my mind wandering away from what was unfolding there. The character interactions are, on the whole, believable and I liked the fact it showed a teenage girl as being both politicised and still interested in fashion, struggling to find her place in the world and seeking to find it through knowledge and personal enrichment rather than through a man.
Don't be misled by the cover, this not a World War II saga, although you can be forgiven for believing it to be of that ilk. It is definitely a saga though and a rather enjoyable one at that and it did leave me wondering exactly what happened to Linda - did she achieve her ambitions? I certainly hope so!