Why did I love this book?
Doris Lessing is one of the genuinely great authors of the 20th century. A true visionary, she moved effortlessly between naturalistic writing and her own unique variety of science fiction/fantasy—the latter written with such conviction that it seems completely real (while her naturalistic writing is so vivid is to seem almost more than real). In this book, a middle-aged woman looks out of her window at a civilization that is rapidly falling apart. As the woman retreats into her own inner world, a strange girl comes to live with her, bringing an animal called Hugo that is somewhere in between a dog and a cat. It’s a spell-binding piece of world-building and a reminder that everything that seems permanent will one day crumble.