The Assumption of the Rogues & Rascals, by Elizabeth Smart
First published in 1978, and widely considered to be the sequel to her masterpiece By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept, this remarkable book further established Smart's reputation as a brave and inspirational writer.
A still beautiful woman, 31 years old with four children by a faithless lover, cannot break the habit of expectation. She must learn to submit to the cold, bare, unglamorous tenets of reality - the untenable position of love.
She must learn to deflect Grand Passion into an acceptance of the rogues and rascals with their radiant faces, who buy her a bitter with borrowed cash. Out of a passionate youth, through pain and harsh revelation, she has attained a maturity - a certain knowledge that the cost of rapture is high and that there is no looking back.
Hers is a voice that distils a woman's determination for survival - a voice that rises up from everyday life, from the bus queue, the Underground, the pub - and in Elizabeth Smart's hand is wrought into something magnificent.