The Golden Notebook, Part I

After finishing two books in the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray (with the last book in the trilogy not available in my local Border’s), I decided that I would take a break from young adult fantasy and take on Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook. The description on the back of the new Harper Perennial Modern Classics edition drew me in:

Anna is a writer, author of one very successful novel, who now keeps four notebooks. In one, with a black cover, she reviews the African experience of her earlier years. In a red one she records her political life, her disillusionment with communism. In a yellow one she writes a novel in which the heroine relives part of her own experience. And in a blue one she keeps a personal diary. Finally, in love with an American writer and threatened with insanity, Anna tries to bring the threads of all four books together in a golden notebook.

I love the idea of the notebooks. I got a mere twenty pages into the nearly seven hundred page tome last night (with not a mention of any notebooks). So far, it all takes place in an apartment. The exchanges between Anna, the main character, and her friend Molly are surprisingly engaging, even though the topics are rather mundane.

I’m excited to get into the book, especially since it was a staple in the feminist’s library in the 60s and because of the unique storytelling—letting the reader see the protagonist from the first person point of view in the notebooks and from the omniscient third-person point of view in a novel within the novel. We’ll see how it goes.