Anna is a novelist with writer's block. She keeps a set of notebooks in which she records her own life, observations on the Communist Party of 1950s Britain, potential novel ideas, and her business dealings. The book moves back and forth between the notebooks, giving the reader her views of international politics, love and friendship, sex roles, psychoanalysis, writing, and life itself. I found the book fascinating, and yet at the end not fully satisfying. I'm struggling to figure out why. I think maybe I thought that by the end things would come together in a clearer way than they did. Overall, I found the view of women's lives and relationships a little bleak; in fact, this was a pretty pessimistic book about many things. One of the most interesting things to me in reading the book was the difference that was so apparent between American culture in the 1950s as I understand it and the British culture of the 1950s as presented in the novel. Britain had a much more nuanced approach to Communism/Socialism and also seemingly more complex sexual politics. I'm glad to have read this book, found it very engaging and very well written, but in the end, I think I am too happy and optimistic a person to be able to call it a favorite.