Molly’s house. London home of Molly Jacobs, in which most of the novel’s action is set. Molly’s house and Anna’s apartment are interior spaces that function as containers for the heroines’ emotional lives. Although the two friends refer to themselves as “free women,” they recognize the confines that their culture and their own thinking about gender relationships place on their actions and emotions. They are as enclosed by cultural conventions as they are by the spaces they inhabit.
When Anna and Molly are living together in the house, Molly’s house provides a space for their growing friendship. They pursue their careers and relationships with men as they please. After Molly’s son blinds himself in a suicide attempt, he spends most of his time at home and moves into the main room, making it impossible for Molly even to make a private phone call. At the end of the novel, Molly plans to marry and move to her new husband’s house; the change in residence signifies a new phase in her emotional life.
Anna’s apartment. Anna rents an apartment for herself and her daughter after her long affair with Michael ends. She wants to get away from the place in which she has spent so much time with him but also wants a space for the notebooks she begins to keep. The author of a successful novel, Frontiers of War, Anna lives off the royalties while trying to decide what to write next. In her four notebooks, she records parts of her life. Experiencing her life as fragmented, she can find no single truth to record. At the end of the novel, she decides to...
(The entire section is 677 words.)