The L-Shaped Room

Style: Good

Attitude: Take Care

Author: Lynne Reid Banks

Age Range: Mid Teens+

Period: Late 20th C

Genres:  Coping withMoral Issue


Jane is pregnant by an actor with whom she had a brief holiday affair. She is thrown out by her father and rents an L-shaped room in a cheap boarding house. She contemplates an abortion but rejects it, although she nearly causes a miscarriage unwittingly by a curry-eating binge. She falls in love with one of the other residents and enjoys a precarious friendship with the rest. Her former friends stick by her, especially her aunt who later dies, leaving Jane her house and some money.


A fairly sordid story underneath. The support of her new friends is spoilt somewhat both by their assertions that she's done nothing wrong and by her liberal immorality with Toby. The moral attitude between the lines is that she hasn't done anything wrong and that despite the social stigma, unmarried mothers are run-of-the-mill nowadays. At the end of the story you come out feeling slightly grubby.

Tuesday 1st January 2002