Nostalgia for old, rundown coastal Sussex

Sally Bayley’s The Green Lady is a beguiling, experimental mixture of biography, fiction and family history. In her excellent memoir Girl with Dove (2018), she wrote about her neglected childhood in the coastal Sussex town of Littlehampton. Here she returns to the same locality, but considers her forebears, embroidering episodes from her own rackety childhood into the lives of her ancestors and local people. The title refers to a hostel on the corner of the lane where Bayley grew up. Its owner, Mary Neal, opened it up to factory girls from London. This is the central image of the book, encapsulating themes of wealth and poverty, town and country, the