Part memoir, part comic monologue, this is an ensemble of mishaps and anecdotes that, taken together, reveals the ups and downs of one woman's life. Relentlessly self-deprecating, Sylvia Smith's diary at first seems to relay the humdrum, everydayness of living, yet it steadily gains momentum as a darker undertone gathers force. Interspersed between humorous tales of first-date disasters and "get-rich-quick" schemes gone awry, the reader is thrown off-balance by the loss of sexual innocence and a pervading sense of loneliness. As Sylvia stumbles from one temporary job to another, and through a variety of furnished flats, her deadpan delivery is shot through with moments of sandpaper-dry wit.
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aged alright Andrea asked baked beans Barkingside became bedsit Bill bought boyfriend Brian British Telecom called Carol chat clothing dance Dave Dave Clarke Five decided Denise dinner dirndl doctor drive drove drunk eight thirty eventually father finished flat forty Friday friends furnished house Ghalib Ginnie girlfriend girls hair Heracles holiday hundred pounds Jenny Josie kitchen lady Lambretta later laughed leaving Leicester Square Leytonstone Linda lived London looked lounge Lynne Mamma mia marriage married Maureen Mick minutes months morning mother Murphy night parents phoned Premium Bonds realised replied returned road Roogie secretary shared Sharon Shaunagh sitting social club soon sorry stopped street door Sylvia talking Teddy Boys telephone thirty thought told took twenty upstairs walked Walthamstow week weekend whilst Whipps Cross Hospital window woman yoghurt