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Bibliophile price: £5.00
In 1943, at the age of five, Angela Huth decided that she wanted to be a writer. She and her mother Bridget had decamped to California just before the outbreak of war but her film director father Harold had stayed, working at Pinewood Studios. By 1943 they "could no longer bear to be apart" and sailed back, docking in Liverpool: "and Daddy? was the only father not there to meet us". Her mother too was not particularly maternal and this juxtaposition of a comfortable life in a lovely home with two uninvolved parents was, she feels, the catalyst for her early desire to write. Harold and Bridget were highly glamorous. He was famed for his acting and directing and she for her lively nature, fluency in foreign languages and legendary parties - she also had relationship with Manuel II, the last King of Portugal, in the early ?30s. They separated after the war, but got back together 11 years later, although both took lovers for years. After her education ending prematurely, Angela went swiftly from reluctant debutante to traveller to professional writer, switching between journalism and writing short stories, novels and plays for TV and stage, Land Girls (1995) being one of her best known, which was adapted for film and TV. This memoir may well be one of her best works too. An elegantly narrated, witty memoir of an extremely unconventional life set against the rebuilding of the world following WWII and choc-full of some of the biggest names of the time, with plenty of "candid" (shall we say!) anecdotes. From early childhood through eight years of boarding school at Malvern to travelling alone across Europe and the US and onto her working life, her wit, recall and powers of observation and reflection shine through, a true delight. 311pp paperback with 8 pages of b/w photos.

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