What the book isn't is any way literary. It has no pretensions of any kind. It's clearly aimed at the broadest readership possible. Does anybody write this kind of thing anymore? Does anybody make heroes out of middle-aged people of modest means? I don't think so. Maybe this strand of writing just disappeared into EastEnders and I've no intention of following it there.
Funny how I can delight in the sentiment in a book like this and yet feel so resentful of the similarly manipulative, similarly middlebrow One Day. I suppose I've met people like the characters in the latter and I found them just as tiresome in real life as I found them in the book. Whereas I've never lived in a south London boarding house on the eve of war. Distance lends enchantment to everything, but particularly sentiment.