From Publishers Weekly
Lively, the Booker prize-winning British author of Moon Tiger , here recalls her childhood in Egypt from the mid-1930s until her parents divorced in 1945 when she was 12. This intriguing memoir of growing up in another culture relies on Lively's perception of experience rather than on a detailed chronology of events. Her father, whom she rarely saw, was a manager at the Bank of Egypt; her mother was taken up in the expatriate social whirl. Lively's upbringing was left to Lucy, a young English woman, who was first her nurse and then her governess. The author's impressionistic portraits of Egypt, Alexandria and Palestine evoke sights and smells that are, in many respects, no longer accessible. Already suffering emotionally from parental neglect, Lively was further traumatized when her return to England caused her to be separated from Lucy. A sad and engaging reminiscence. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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From Library Journal
Sheila Mitchell reads in a clear, somewhat acerbic English accent novelist Lively's memoir of living in Egypt as the daughter of an English civil servant, when England was only a far-off land that everyone spoke of with longing. She compares her memories to the places, people, and life she finds there now and, in so doing, treats the listener to a picture of a way of life largely vanished: children raised by servants in an English colony, contact with the locals mostly in their roles as domestics, and a child's view of life as an outsider in a land not her own. When she returns to England because of World War II, she has to comprehend that she is even more of an outsider there?this place where almost everyone she knew most wanted to be?than she was in Egypt. Mitchell is able to convey the emotions of both the child and the teenaged Lively. This compelling story of an author's early life offers insights both into British culture and into the books she would later write. Recommended.?Melody A. Moxley, Rowan P.L., Salisbury, NC
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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