Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Review ~ The English Daughter by Maggie Wadey

Sandstone Press

A bit of blurb..

As a child I was aware of my mother being different from my father and his family, and that her difference was somehow connected with her being Irish, but I knew almost nothing of her youth and upbringing. In the year or so before she died, she did begin to talk to me about her past. The first sequence of the book is based on those childhood memories. Only after my mother’s death do I go to Tipperary and there I begin to discover another story, the life she never told me about.

My thoughts about the book..

After her mother's death, the author returns to her mother's Tipperary birthplace, and  there she learns about a life she never knew had existed. She always thought that her mother was different in upbringing from her father, but Maggie never realised just how much her mother's life had been influenced by her Irish childhood.

The author writes well and with great compassion about her mother's life and it is obvious that she is very competent in putting a story together. Part biography and part social history, The English Daughter is a compassionate study of what life was like in rural Ireland during the early part of the twentieth century and with great insight the author succeeds in bringing her mother's story alive.

It's strange, isn't it, that only when we have lost someone do we feel compelled to go back over their lives, sadly, when they are no longer in a position to recount their story for themselves. I think that Maggie Wadey has more than done justice to her mother's story and for that she should feel justifiably proud of herself. 

Best Read With ...Irish Soda bread, liberally spread with butter and a drop of Poitín..

Maggie Wadey portrait

Maggie Wadey is a novelist and screenwriter. Her childhood was spent in England,  Egypt , Cyprus and a Sussex boarding school, After a brief time as a model she read philosophy at University College London. Amongst her screenplays are adaptations of Mansfield Park, the Buccaneers, the Yellow Wallpaper and the children's novel Stig of the Dump . She lives in East London with her husband.

My thanks to Diana at Ruth Killick Publicity for my copy of this book.


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