This is the story of women when they were wimmin: of that blossoming in seventies England of hope, freedom, equality and sisterhood; and of what happened next… Big Women is the tale of Medusa, a feminist publishing house founded one balmy evening at sedate Chalcot Crescent in a flurry of argument, peace-making and naked dancing. The novel is everything and more we expect from Fay Weldon, not just a work of literature but an energising drop into the pool of social complacency – a feisty, no-holds-barred portrait of four women’s attempts and failures to create a new life. There’s Layla, noisy, darlingish, high-profile. Alice, the academic, the philosopher, the – eventually – Glastonbury witch. Nancy: boring, sensible Nancy, the only one with any business nous. And Stephanie, the one who leaves her husband and children to embrace politics, men, other women… Their stories are intertwined with twenty years of all our lives – blissful, rage-filled, treacherous, redemptive.