The Characters of Love

by Susie Boyt

Monday, October 27, 2003

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I read The Normal Man years ago and enjoyed it enough to remember the author’s name (that’s less of an insult than it sounds really!) but it’s taken until now for me to turn up another book by Boyt. It turns out this is actually her first book, I don’t know if she ever published a third one.

This is the story of Nell, who grows up mostly without a father in London and goes on to fall in love with her poet tutor at Oxford. What’s great about it is how well the characters are drawn and how deeply embarrassed I was about Nell’s crush while I was reading it. It brought back memories of things that I’d rather have forgotten but it was all the better a book for having that effect on me.