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This Is the Novel You Need to Read Next!

Updated on August 29, 2020
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The Golden notebook is main character Anna’s narrative on her life ; the political and emotional aspects, her writing and everyday life.

the cover of the award winning novel.

Seriously , you need to read TGN.

This book changed my outlook on life. At the age of 15 I learned what communism was, found my love for reading and became the ultimate feminist.

It starts of with the novel ‘free women’ , which is woven throughout the book. Written by Anna herself , it is about her and her best friend molly, and what happens in their problematic life. My hand could not leave the book and my eyes sting from staring, because the small first section was so capturing and enticing that I simply did not put it down!

It then flows from there, with the 4 notebooks and the short novel following one another along the journey of her mid life adventures and problems.

“To pretend that you don't need love when you do; or you like your work when you know quite well you're capable of better.”

The 4 Bibles...

The red notebook is about her political views. The black about her writing, yellow for emotions and blue for everyday accounts. All 4 hold deep, great, poignant meaning.


Anna is a communist , and is not ashamed to admit it and express her far - left views. The red notebook focuses on her ambivalent relationship to communism, which she agrees with but finds difficult to support in practice. She finds the British communist party extremely assertive , indeed too assertive to cope with. Anna becomes disillusioned with politics simply because communism has begun to fail her and she can no longer withstand it emotionally or agree with the rest of the party who appear blinded to the stuck - in - the - past views they carry out.


Anna struggles with her writing, she has no confidence in her own works and ultimately finds them depressing. This leads to not only her own emotional breakdown, but others around her become increasingly effected by it. Without spoiling the book, I will say that the twists and turns taken in the novel lead your head to spin and your eyes fill with tears. She is a great writer, and gets many offers to have her book adapted in film, but does she take these opportunities, and does she find the ultimate inspiration she needs to set her on the right path?


the yellow notebook, perhaps the most emotional and hard - hitting of them all is an ongoing novel that is being written based on the ending of Anna's love affair with a man, and the psychologically painful ending of it and how it changes her life. Starting off exciting and gripping, not knowing what the pair will do next and what will happen around them, it ends on a touchingly sad note.


the blue notebook is the most frantic and chaotic of all of the notebooks. It is scribbled on , lines and pages are continually draw though and newspaper cuttings appear throughout. This is like looking at her brain, and helps readers to understand how complex and confusing her mind is.


“I was filled with such a dangerous delicious intoxication that I could have walked straight off the steps into the air, climbing on the strength of my own drunkeness into the stars. And the intoxication, as I knew even then, was the recklessness of infinite possibility.”

poetic and intricate

If i was asked to sum up the novel, those are the two words I would choose. Poetic in a sense that you truly believe this person has summed up what is wrong with society and the ideals of feminism , in her messy account of her own life. Intricate as the author explains politics, feminism, emotional and societal breakdowns -in an account of a fictional characters being- without the reader realising until the final section, the golden notebook.

Lessing with her nobel prize for literature.

5 reasons to read...


Like a perfectly clear, refreshing river, feminism runs through the entirety of the novel, touching on subjects like female empowerment, female sexual pleasure and women’s liberation.


Just like the notebooks, society is broken , which is perfectly represented in the novel. It also reflects Anna’s emotional breakdown , which is due to the hectic whir of life around her. In 2020 society is still full of prejudice and injustice and is still split; this book bring with it realisation about this fact and acts as a reminder of how far forward we have come since the 1950’s (when the novel was set).


Up there with the likes of the great gatsby and lord of the flies, the golden notebook is deemed one of the greatest novels in the english language, is that not reason enough to pick it up and read it?


There is nothing worse than a book you just can’t get into. This book is the complete opposite. You won’t be able to leave it, if you haven’t found out what happens after her meal with a judgemental film director, you won’t be able to sleep. I promise you.


The author won the nobel prize for literature , arguably the most important award you could ever receive as a writer. This should reassure you that the book simply will not disappoint.


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