Reader review from Amazon:
A.S. Byatt's first novel
This is a great read for any fan of British novelist and critic A.S. Byatt. It's her first novel, written as an undergraduate (and reworked a few yrs later when she was a young mother.) She was obviously passionate, perceptive, brainy, busy, and full of life.The protagonist Anna notices, thinks about, and feels things -- intensely. The autobiographical story is interesting, and less deeply upholstered than Byatt's subsequent novels. The narrator's immediacy is compelling, and the young woman's struggles to define herself within (and separate from) her intellectually consuming and powerful family are well drawn. Lots of 'characters,' the Byatt ear for speech and eye for the telling detail. Memorable escapades and love affairs, too. It's intense and brimming with energy and life.