The main characters are all women and The Microcosm deals with their relationships, as they grow and as they disintegrate. The pressures of society force them to live in an enclosed world. Steve, the schooly under the strain of her marriage; Sadie’s factory environment brings its own financial and social problems; and Matt is unable to solve his difficulties with Rae until he breaks out of the microcosm.
The Microcosm is at first presented in all its complexity, then certain elements are in their turn illuminated, until a possible solution emerges for one of the characters. Not everyone will be able to accept the conclusions of this most subtle and original book. But they will be hard put to deny its forceful characterisation, its brilliantly accurate dialogue and its haunting evocation of a world within the world.