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I would really like to have a glass of wine with this author, who has written a lively, interesting memoir that takes us on a rich, exciting tour through a thoughtful journalist's life. Amiel started out as a Jewish child endangered by the German bombing of Britain and later had to grapple with parental suicide. At 14 years old, her stepfather told her that she had better leave, that it would be better for her mother, and she does. She worked hard, and in 1983, she became the first female editor of a Canadian newspaper when she became editor of the Toronto Star. No matter your political position, the ruthlessness of the press coverage of the downfall of her husband Conrad Black was devastating. The book is hilarious at times, and harrowing to read at other junctures, but is a great read throughout.
I’m very grateful to my friend Nira for recommending this wonderful book to me. O’Farrell deserves her reputation as an excellent writer. Hamnet and Judith are twins who live in 15th century England, so no depressing 21st century politics here. The novel is an exquisite, compelling imagining of the life of Shakespeare’s family, with plenty of period detail. The book is also a strong statement on the healing power of creativity, not love, though there is plenty of that here also, as well as very good writing: “The sky is beginning to drain of light; the sun is fading for the day; there is still the chill grip of winter in the air.” Does this remind you of home?
Joey is only 2, so she can’t really write a review yet, but her babbling sounds of delight when she sees the book and someone reads it to her are critical praise indeed. If you have a toddler in your life, get this one today.
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