South West Reading Passport 2016: Book to the Future

Special Feature: Library Picks #4, A Taste of Honey

methuen_1959_shelaghdelaney_atasteofhoneyA Taste of Honey is a 1958 play written by Shelagh Delaney. Delaney was an Irish playwright and screenwriter who became known for being a part of the ‘kitchen sink realism’ literary movement.

A Taste of Honey, Delaney’s first play is often considered to be her defining work. Set in Salford in the 1950s, it tells the story of Jo, a working class girl and her mother Helen who has loose morals.

The play is about female awakening and the realisation of the realities of life. Jo is happy with her lover who is a sailor and who proposes marriage but she soon finds herself pregnant and alone when he goes back on his word and abandons her.

Jo’s mother Helen has a series of lovers and one day abandons Jo for the latest one, Peter. Jo moves in with a friend Geoff, who quickly becomes a surrogate father for her.

When Helen returns after another failed relationship, Jo becomes overwhelmed by her mother’s attention and attempts to get back in her life and once again finds herself alone…

A Taste of Honey is a coming-of-age story that’s not to be missed.

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