The diary of an ordinary schoolgirl living in Carlisle in 1954 -- a perfectly preserved period piece from one of the UK's favourite novelists
Results rolling in! Algebra, 6th = 74%. Not bad. Latin = 55% Thrilled! History top = 85% smashing! Geography, disgusting, 2nd = 67%.
In 1954 in Carlisle lived an ordinary 15-year-old schoolgirl called Margaret. She would go on to become an acclaimed writer, the author of the novels Georgy Girl and Diary of an Ordinary Woman as well as biographies and memoirs. But this is her diary from that year; her life. Hers might be a lost world, but her daily observations bring it back in vivid, irresistible detail.
Wonderful feat accomplished yesterday by Roger Bannister! At last, the 4 minute mile. Glad an Englishman got it before anyone else.
Bought a pair of shorts – white, very short with two pockets. Super but rather daring!
Mum’s coming back on Saturday. Miss her every minute! I'll never marry and have a family -- housekeeping for two for a week is bad enough -- but for life!
“The diary is slight, but very sweet. You would be pleased to find it in your Christmas stocking… Margaret is a good egg. You like her more and more… If you were happy at school, Forster’s diary will bring it all back. If you were unhappy, she will make you wistful for what you missed.”
Laura Freeman, The Times
“A heady mix of bookish teenage passions and 1950s nostalgia”
“Unmissable: a neat little green clothbound time machine”
Libby Purves, Times Literary Supplement
“Funny, acute and revealing by turns... a tantalising, nostalgia-inducing glimpse into a young life and a lost world”
Lettie Kennedy, Guardian