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Another book finding request - British dystopia with abandoned grandfather

5 replies

EllieQ · 30/01/2017 13:13

I've been reminded of this by current events...

A book I read in the early 1990s set in Britain in the near future, which has become a police state of sorts. It opens with the main character hearing school friends joking about grannies being dumped at the side of the motorway, and later in the book her parents, who've been looking after her grandfather who has dementia, abandon him somewhere as they can't cope and he's put into a state run care home.

She finds him and starts volunteering there, and there's a scene where she sees he's wearing the cardigan she gave him but its covered in food stains. Later she argues with her mother who says that their original plan was to open a tea shop in the country, but after the BSE crisis it wasn't possible and they ended up stuck in the city.

The other part of the plot is that she has left school and started a 'civil service' type job where she's filing lots of index cards with people's names on, and there's a scene where she asks her boss about it and he says something about her not looking at the cards, just filing them. She may have got involved with an underground group who want her to pass information on to them, but I'm not sure if I'm mixing up two books here.

Does this sound familiar to anyone?

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EllieQ · 30/01/2017 14:03

By current events I mean the story about the man with dementia abandoned in the UK, not the general feeling that Trump is taking the US into a dystopian future.

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IntoTheDeep · 30/01/2017 18:26

This sounds very familiar. Did she quit the civil service job to become a care worker in the end?

But I can't remember what it was called, sorry.

EllieQ · 30/01/2017 21:38

I'm not sure - I remember a scene with someone throwing the index cards out of windows, possibly with the police approaching, but I'm not sure if that was from the same book.

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Tigersteeth · 30/01/2017 21:42

I remember this! There was also a bit about time on the roads being rationed, because of there being too many cars.... I can see the cover in my mind's eye, it was like a black and white photo, maybe with yellow writing.... ooh, it's on the tip of my tongue!

EllieQ · 31/01/2017 13:13

Glad someone else remembers this! I don't remember anything about travelling by car being restricted, but it would fit it with the rest of the plot.

The main character's name might have been Julie, or another name beginning with J, but I'm not sure.

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