Iris by Jean Marsh

irisOn the positive side, this was a quick and easy read, and kept me turning the pages. On the other hand, it wasn’t quite as satisfying as I would have liked it to be. The first half is very gripping, following a 1950s young woman who is becoming seduced by the glamour she sees in the life of a call-girl. She finds dangerous protectors in the forms of the local ‘Brothers’ and her pimp, Patrick. A virgin, and determined to remain one, she must navigate the desires of her customers with enormous caution- until an act of violence changes everything.

Later, there is a hiatus of some 13 years before we meet Iris again- now married and running a catering business. But the marriage is in difficulties and Iris does not always tell the truth. I didn’t really understand the motivations of her character later on in the book and some of the decisions she came to baffled me. I think it was an effort to show the damage done to the young Iris still affecting the older woman, but I was left confused. It would be interesting to hear what others make of it- maybe one for a bookgroup?


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