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A Charmed Life: Growing Up in Macbeth's Castle Paperback – Bargain Price, November 25, 2008
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"Poignant...lovely." - "Entertainment Weekly" "Edged with relentless wit...["A Charmed Life" is a] nightmarish memoir that gives fiction a run for its money." --"Kirkus Reviews" "Intriguing...highly readable story...extraordinary." --"Tuscon Citizen" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
This wonderful, heartbreaking, yet ultimately forgiving memoir recalls a childhood played out on an extraordinary and secluded stage.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book starts off like chick-lit, but any guy will soon be hooked too --something about her father totaling five XK-Es following by the destruction of three Ferraris, having sex with over one hundred women, etc. A mother who is up for sainthood, five delightful siblings, young girls branded by their parents before they were kidnapped so they could be identified years later . . . it makes the life of the author of the bestseller "The Glass Castle" seem mundane by comparison.
Liza Campbell is a wonderful storyteller. Without giving away much, it is a story of family relationships and ill-placed trust with the author trying to see the best in what can only be described as a villain for the ages, or at least a man capable of destroying seven centuries of tradition. And that doesn't include Cawdor Castle's own Cruella de Vil.
Campbell names aristocratic (and Eurotrash)names and the book only becomes more engrossing as you go on, so set aside an afternoon or a couple of readings for one of the most fascinating biographies/autobiographies you will ever read.
Liza tells about a surprisingly down to earth childhood guided by her parents, calm and distant Cath and her volatile and also much absent father Hugh. Her father is the central character in the book, both alive and dead. He wields a strong influence on his five children and their interactions with him and about him form the main story.
Having been to Cawdor, and loving Inverness and that part of Scotland, I was delighted to hear about this book. It did not disappoint in giving insight into the workings of the Campbell family and the well known castle which is their home.
edited to add: I vistied Cawdor castle again two months ago. It's one of the better castle open to the public in Scotland, I think, because it is a family home and yet it has large, extensive collections and gardens to interest anyone ( I liked it better than Blair Atholl, for instance.) It has some fabulous furniture and interiors. I guess the battle for ownership still rages on, so sad.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an extremely well written book. It is a melange of Scottish history, a tale of a troubled family, and the history of a family who happen to live/own a castle. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Amazon J
The book is well written and expresses candidly the family relationships that affected her youth and adult experiencesPublished 19 months ago by Eleanor Allert
I was disappointed by the read. I think she took a somewhat interesting live and made it into a boring story.Published on May 26, 2014 by mefrank
What a wonderful dry wit despite the heartbreaking circumstances leading to the writing of this book. Read morePublished on May 17, 2014 by Sylvie M. Obrien
A Charmed Life is one of the best memoirs I've read (and I've read many). Liza Campbell deftly combines her personal and ancient family history--that of the Cawdor Campbells, whose... Read morePublished on April 27, 2014 by H. Anderson
I love books like this and it didn't disappoint one bit. Well written, engaging and a peek into a fascinating way of life I would never have been able to know.Published on April 12, 2014 by S. Stanton
It seems a bit belabored but is written pretty well. I enjoyed a lot of the colorful characters and details of life in Wales especially.Published on April 4, 2014 by Mary Louise Stark