I bought the Kindle edition of this book knowing full well that biographies and autobiographies aren't my thing when it comes to books, but because I had heard so much about it I decided to give it a go. It tells of the struggle of a fatherless family to make ends meet in Birmingham - a city I don't know at all - Carol Arnall's early life, her progression into adulthood, a series of different jobs, the problems of friendships, and meeting her husband and their life together. It also includes some nice family photographs.
Although it does have a habit of chopping and changing scenes, I was drawn in, and I decided it didn't matter. This isn't a novel - although it would make a good plot for a novel - it is a memoir, a collection of memories. Memories are a mish-mash of pictures of our past lives, things we're aware of at the time, but later when you try to piece them together it's hard to make full sense of them. Try as we might, sometimes the best we can do is to remember bits of things. The author has done well to collect her memories, some painful ones at that, and sort them into chronological order, giving the reader an image of her life. Yes, very often the author goes off on a tangent, telling us about one event, then saying something like, 'that reminds me of the time...' This is something we often do in normal conversation, and it is like the author is having a chat with the reader over a cup of coffee. It makes the memories come to life in that sense.