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Behind the Black Door [Paperback]

Sarah Brown
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.99
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Book Description

2 Feb 2012

In this personal memoir about life at 10 Downing Street, Sarah Brown shares the secrets of living behind the most famous front door in the world.

Sarah gave up a successful career in business to serve the country. A passionate campaigner for women and children, she mobilised over a million people through her early adoption of Twitter.

If you've ever wondered what it's like to pack for a photo call with supermodels or pause a speech in front of hundreds when the autocue fails, it's all here - from what to do when the school play clashes with a visit to the White House to what it feels like to support the man you love as he takes tough decisions to stave off global financial meltdown...

Intimate, reflective, surprising and funny, Behind the Black Door takes us backstage to reveal what it's like to be an ordinary woman, wife and mother in extraordinary circumstances.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press; Reprint edition (2 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091940583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091940584
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.4 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 632,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"School run, conference call, Obama for tea - Sarah Brown smiled, and tweeted, through it all. I love this woman" (Caitlin Moran, author of HOW TO BE A WOMAN)

"A loyal, loving, positive account of what can be achieved by a Prime Minister's supportive wife" (The Times)

"Warm and candid" (Daily Mail)

"Fascinating reading" (Laura Barton Guardian)

"Fascinating and endearing" (Woman's Own)

Book Description

Sarah Brown, wife of former prime minister Gordon Brown, gives her personal account of life at number 10 Downing Street. The Sunday Times bestseller

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So disappointed! 16 Oct 2011
By LaBarbe
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Although I didn't know a great deal about Sarah Brown, I was thrilled to learn that she was writing her memoires. I had always seen her as an intelligent, independent, strong woman and was excited to hear what I expected to be candid, informed views in a behind-the-scenes account of political life.

How disappointed I was! I put it down after just a couple of chapters of 'Today Gordon was off doing important things and I had tea and scones with such-and-such and I was wearing a lovely blue hat'.

Unfortunately, this book boils down to little more than inane chit-chat, statements about Being A Mother, and name dropping.

Unless the whole tone and writing style change completely after the little that I read, it is with great regret that I cannot recommend it at all.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz 11 Jan 2012
I was looking forward to reading this as I am very interested in the political history of the period Gordon Brown occupied 10 Downing Street. What a let down - despite trying very hard I just had to give up. It just became a punishment. Went off to read Andrew Rawnsley's "The End of the Party" - now that IS a riveting read of that period.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars DISAPPOINTING 18 Nov 2012
I selected this book because I have always admired Sarah Brown-although admittedly not knowing much about her,except the loss of her baby daughter-but I was very disappointed,the book did not tell me much about her as a person.At times it sounded like extracts from a Communist Manifesto when she was eulogising over Gordon,and his achievements at putting the world to rights,now I would obviously expect her to be supportive of her husband this seemed to go over the top. She at times seemed too good to be true as a person,and seemed more concerned about whatshe was wearing,and who she was meetng than anything else.
Ultimately I am very glad that I borrowed the book from the library,rather than pay the cover price of £18.99,as I think I would have been even more disappointed,not really a read to recommend as really there is no substance at all,in spite of covering world shattering events,both politically and economically.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Enid Blyton fiction 15 Sep 2011
This book is so disappointing. I thought it could be very interesting but it was written in diary format so doesn't flow and the language reminds you of 1930's childrens books "I thought I'd better leave the room as the men were talking.." etc. With women like this in political circles, our gender will never be taken seriously. Sarah Brown should take a look at other political leaders' wives and stopping swooning over how yummy Gordon is!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear! 30 Jun 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very disappointed. Was looking forward to the details of family life at No 10 and how things are organised but all I got were gushing reports of how wonderful her husband is and endless lists of celebrities she'd met. Didn't finish it. Passed the book on to others to try but all felt same way.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Sarah Brown's book, beginning with the appointment of Gordon Brown as Prime Minister, and ending with his resignation has the immediacy of reading a diary. She records her day to day activities, and she certainly kept herself busy, supporting her husband in official duties as well her own charity work and campaigning to reduce maternal mortality. All this as well as looking after her two young sons. Sarah, with her anxiety about public speaking, concern to dress appropriately, desire to get things right, and absolute loyalty to her husband comes over as a very likeable and normal person. You won't find a finely honed critique of Gordon Brown here - it isn't that sort of book, so if that is what you are after, don't buy this. Other reviews have criticised Sarah Brown for unseemly fascination with celebrities, (there are a large number of characters you will recognise here) but this seems a little unfair given the situation in which she finds herself, and as this book makes plain, she uses her connections with the famous to further her charity work, at every opportunity.
This isn't a political memoir really, more the story of a woman carving out a role for herself, juggling her responsibilities and using the strange position in which she finds herself to campaign for improvements in the lives of women less fortunate. It is an easy read which I felt gave a fascinating insight into what it must have been like to live Behnd the Black Door.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not Insightful - more who I met and what I wore 16 Sep 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was worked in Whitehall so was interested to read this. It was ok but I agree with other reviewers it was more about Sarah carving a role for herself and who she met. She seemed at times naive.- of course people would be positive introducing Gordon. She was able to use her position to achieve a lot for maternal heath and I applaud her for that and for the importance she attached to family life..
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How Boring! 14 May 2012
I looked forward to reading this book as I have always rated Sarah Brown as a quiet, thoughtful, political wife but this is just SO boring. There is much emphasis on how much money she and her husband saved the tax payer almost asking the reader to fell sorry for them in their inflated position. Don't worry about what Sarah wears, everything is from a famous designer but of course has not been bought. She is obviously obsessed with celebrity life style and lists many famous names at every possible opportunity. I don't understand the point of this book - who is it aimed at? Is Sarah trying to prove how many charities she is supporting? Is she wanting the reader to feel sorry for her? By the end of the book, one knows nothing about Gordon or Sarah Brown that has not been endlessly listed elsewhere.
She is very much a 'goody two shoes' never having made any mistakes. She tells the reader what a wonderful wife and mother she is on almost every page.
You read it for yourself and see if you agree with me.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Bit boring to be
Found it. Bit boring to be honest
Published 18 days ago by M. Duckworth
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read.
Arrived promptly. A good read.
Published 2 months ago by Cora Lofthouse
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
I have read it from the Library and have bought this as a Christmas present for a friend I told about it
Published 11 months ago by Jean Ann Naylor
4.0 out of 5 stars Comments on Berhind the Black Door
I found this book very interesting and it kept me occupied all the time that I read it. I read it very quickly because it was so
interesting and will re-read it.
Published 14 months ago by Margaret Masterman
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely not disappointed!
I have just finished reading this book and most strongly disagree with the previous comments. Yes, she does mention what she is wearing, but this only makes you realise that she... Read more
Published 21 months ago by rencro
2.0 out of 5 stars Stupid Girl
When I bought this book the woman serving me (it was in a charity shop) remarked, "She's lovely, isn't she?"

Yeah, I thought, but is the book any good? Read more
Published 22 months ago by Honrus Publicus
5.0 out of 5 stars A peep inside the world behind a famouse Black door
Well written and an insight to both the political life that has to be led by a prime ministers wife whilst haveing a young family.
Published 23 months ago by P. J. Alden-smith
1.0 out of 5 stars Gosh - this was tiresome!
I tend to read lots of political books of one sort and another but found this pretty dreadful. The constant name dropping and eulogising about hubby and the wonderful kids taken... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Aldhelm
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Human Life
I bought this book out of sheer curiosity. I have never voted labour, nor will I ever do so in the future. Read more
Published on 24 Sep 2012 by Rev. John E. Harris-white
3.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to enjoy it!
I borrowed this book from the library whilst on holiday and am pleased that I didn't buy it. I thought it would give some insight into family life as well as the politics of... Read more
Published on 16 July 2012 by WJCNG
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