Gunnel Beckman Mary Hobbs - Essay

Mary Hobbs

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[In The Loneliness of Mia] Mia has broken with her boyfriend, who has not been at all changed by all they have gone through. She has the idea of bringing her father's mother from an old people's home to live with them. The brave old woman is prepared to risk shortening her own life in order to be useful, and feel wanted by her son and grand-daughter. She gives Mia the benefit of her wise experience, not only on relationships, but on Women's Lib. Swedish feminist problems have been different from ours, but the principles remain the same. It is not a dramatic subject, and the weakest part of the book is the non-debate in Mia's flat with Grandma, a mere excuse for crusading quotations, in preparation for a class discussion on the emancipation of women. Though we become closely involved with the family, and teenage loneliness and death are most sensitively and understandingly presented, not all parents, teachers or librarians will feel happy about putting before older girls such matter-of-fact acceptance by the adults, from Grandma and the author onwards, of pre-marital sex, providing one is on the pill. (pp. 208-09)

Mary Hobbs, in her review of "The Loneliness of Mia," in The Junior Bookshelf, Vol. 39, No. 3, June, 1975, pp. 208-09.