‘Pure Juliet’ tells the story of Juliet Slater, a working class girl from London, who just happens to be a mathematical genius. It is one of an increasingly popular genre, the lost novel. Originally written by Stella Gibbons in the 1970’s, it was not published in her lifetime (she died in 1989) but was recently “discovered” by her family and has been marketed by the publishers with this narrative, rather than “the author didn’t think this was quite good enough yet but never got round to revising it” which is probably closer to the truth.
Cultural references set the first section of the novel, in which Juliet completes her A levels and leaves home to stay with an adoptive aunt, Miss Pennecuick, in her isolated country house in rural Hertfordshire, in the late 1970’s – punk rock, Friends of the Earth, and Star Wars are mentioned. Continue reading