I’m a little under halfway through Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook, and have constantly found myself drawn forward to read more.
The book focuses on Anna Wulf, a woman in her thirties and seems to cover in the 15 or so years after the second world war. Anna is a writer living mostly off the proceeds of her first book ‘Frontiers Of War’.
She keeps a series of notebooks in which she records a variety of subjects, a first draft of her next book, her relationship with her therapist and clippings from newspapers.
The first part of Lessing’s book is called Free Women and covers Anna relationship with her close friend Molly, Molly’s ex husband and her son Tommy. The books moves from this section into her notebooks, although the transition from one part to another is not always immediately and it takes some thought to determine whether we’re hearing part of her published novel, her next draft or something else.
There is further confusion as it feels that many parts of Anna’s stories, the ones she’s writing are to some degree autobiographical, but then you move onto the parts that presents Anna in the third person, perhaps from Lessing’s view,and then wonder what elements of this are autobiographical.