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Love Child: A Memoir of Family Lost and Found Paperback – 1 Mar 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (1 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408803062
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408803066
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 481,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'This extraordinary book reveals the all but unendurable sorrow of loss, and the difficulties of those unwilling to live in a world without love. Because Huston's concerns are with what she has seen and learned, rather than with alienation and the affixing of blame, her memoir glimmers with triumphant wisdom' Susanna Moore 'A fascinating and profoundly moving exploration of family secrets. Poignant, inspiring and beautifully written, an intriguing first-hand account of growing up inside a world the rest of us can only read about' Joanna Briscoe 'A touching glimpse of the pain and longing felt by a child who doesn't quite belong to anyone, this unsentimental journey through the star-studded vacuum of her various families is unexpectedly tender and forgiving. She writes with an artist's eye for detail, with the clear gaze of a small outsider, searching forever for love' Joanna Lumley

Review

A touching glimpse of the pain and longing felt by a child who doesn't quite belong to anyone, this unsentimental journey through the star-studded vacuum of her various families is unexpectedly tender and forgiving. She writes with an artist's eye for detail, with the clear gaze of a small outsider, searching forever for love.'
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Claretta VINE VOICE on 16 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
I was at university with Allegra Huston - in fact in our final year we lived across the hall from each other - but I never got to know her. Having read her memoir, I wish I had. It is beautifully written and flows seamlessly through her early years as she learns more about her family and tries to fit in as she is shunted from one person to the next. Her portrayal of John Huston dominates the book, but there are also wonderful sketches of other people in her life, such as her charismatic brothers and sister and various friends. The few pages she devotes to Ryan O'Neal - her sister's boyfriend - are quite chilling. By the end, you are left wanting to know more about some of the people who pass through her life and what happened to them. A fine memoir - let's hope she is at work on her next book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Book Lover on 24 Aug. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed Allegra Huston's memoir very much. She is a sympathetic and modest narrator, describing her encounters with the Hollywood friends and colleagues of her film director father without the slightest attempt to impress - only to remember and to understand the part they played in her extraordinary childhood. She never appeals for sympathy - 'though this could easily have been a little girl lost story - but the reader does naturally feel sympathy for Allegra on a number of counts, firstly that she lost her mother so young (yet with tantalising memories of her), secondly that her father's changing relationships with women involved her in enormous upheaval (including even being sent, strangely, to live with the rather unpleasant parents of her former stepmother),and thirdly that twice in her life she had the experience of being introduced to her own father (she famously had 'two'). It's not dificult to imagine the Janus-like pull that such a revelation would exert and AH describes her feelings of disloyalty to her 'Dad' (Huston) as she got to know her 'father' (John Julius) in a touching way. This is above all a beautifully written book - the author has a poet's eye for detail - and with its themes of childhood bereavement, loss and ever-changing circumstances it evoked 'A Little Princess'. Highly recommended.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Sheba Phombeah on 3 April 2009
Format: Hardcover
Love Child: A Memoir of Family Lost and Found is an extremely moving account of a life, childhood, growing up in an uncertain world, where people and places are not necessarily what they seem to be. There is a tradition in literature of the child's voice and Allegra Huston portrays the emotions and reactions of a child whose mother has died, before the notion of death has any meaning without her later realisations as an adult intruding. The tempo is constant, the story telling seemless, and all the characters are portrayed with equal attention to detail, whether they are temporary or constant, unknown or famous. It may be Huston's background in script writing, which gives her the ability to describe a scene so well. The locations of her life are many and varied and the reader will find that they are transported to places by the writer's attention to detail. It is an enchanting book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Magiciansgirl on 8 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I couldn't put this haunting memoir down. The story of a bewildered little girl whose mother died leaving her alone will never leave me, such is the power of the writing. I don't want to give too much away, but there are surprises and showbiz glitter alongsie self-discovery and acceptance. I loved it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By nini on 6 July 2011
Format: Paperback
'Love Child' by Allegra Houston, is a beautiful, paced description of her search for familial love and her own place in life. Her Dad, John Houston, was an absent and awesome father figure , to whom Allegra was introduced at the age of four. She found out the identity of her biological father in her teens. The author recounts her peripatetic youth with honesty and objectivity. One can sense her deep yearning for warmth and stability, a family.

This is a 'can't-put-down-book' if ever there was one! It brings to life another world which most of us have only glimpsed either in the press or on the silver screen. Brilliant!
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By Scholastica on 9 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback
I chose this book because I am an enthusiastic reader of personal memoirs - I love to see how another person gives shape to their story and I particularly like it when they explore the feelings that accompanied the experiences that they have had. Allegra is an accomplished writer who, in my opinion, has done this extremely well. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.

There are two separate strands to Allegra's story. She was born as her parents' marriage was foundering and her father is not the man who was married to her mother at the time she was born. So, there is some confusion about her place in the family. Then, when her mother died, the young Allegra was formally adopted by her mother's husband, John Huston. John Huston was, in Allegra's childhood, a big player in Hollywood film-making and they lived a chaotic and lavish Hollwood lifestyle so the also story offers something of a fly on the wall experience of life in Hollywood in the 1970s.

Allegra writes with great intelligence and in a very matter of fact way about the experience of being dragged around like an afterthought, with no permanent place to call home and no bedroom that she could claim as her own. This, therefore, is less about being the daughter of a famous father than about a search for her own family and, once she has been introduced to her real father, an account of the confusion of identity in having two fathers.

For me, this stands out as one of the best personal memoirs that I have read for a long time and it definitely deserves a place on my bookshelf.
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