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Smile Though Your Heart Is Breaking Hardcover – 4 Mar 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (4 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007337183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007337187
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.5 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 648,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Pauline lives on the outskirts of Hull, not far from where she grew up, and where her husband John Prescott, the former Deputy Prime Minister, has been a Labour MP since the 1970s. Born in 1940, and likened to the glamorous Elizabeth Taylor, she trained as a hairdresser and it was her wages that supported them during John's eight years of university and growing political ambition. She is her husband's biggest champion.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Supertzar on 4 Mar. 2010
Format: Hardcover
A warm and tender memoir of a woman whose story is touching and, in many places heart-rending, without being overly sugary and mawkish.

The book takes us from 1950s black and white kitchen sink grimness - Liz Taylor lookalike Pauline, left in the lurch by a US serviceman, bullied into giving up the baby boy she can't afford to raise - to today - the wealthy, glamorous survivor, reunited with her son and looking forward to spending her dotage as the new Christine Hamilton.

Along the way, she meets an uppity ship's waiter union rep whose proposal - in a train loo - she mystifyingly accepts. John devotes his time and energy to harmonious industrial relations in that sweet natured way of his; ending up blacklisted by three shipping lines, it is Pauline who is left to cope when there's little money coming in. Her hairdressing pay allows him to go to University, the springboard to a political career that was only slightly less embarrassing than watching your mother lapdance.

Pauline couldn't care less about John's political life, judging Margaret Thatcher more by her (smart) appearance than her politics. She stands by her man through thick and thin and is naturally hurt when this loyalty is rewarded by shamelessly sordid infidelity. The book doesn't provide much insight into her reasoning, other than it allows Pauline to 'get away with murder now'. She even gets - notoriously at taxpayers' expense - a new downstairs loo out of the affair, and you can't really argue with that.

Anyone looking for a more tender and human side to John Prescott will need to look elsewhere - the public image of a seething and sulky bully is entirely accurate, it seems.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Jean K. Fraser on 3 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
I like the style and easy reading of a very human story. It sounded truthful and real. What a lady !
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By Mr J.PERKINS on 4 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book portrays the life of a working class girl who through meeting the man she loved rose from hairdresser to ministers wife. Thoroughly recommended.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Anna on 12 April 2010
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book, about a very nice lady. Mrs P comes across as a lovely, humble person and in the process I have also gained a more positive insight about her rather less loveable husband!
Her description of what it cost her to give up her baby son followed by their reunion many years later was really sweet, and I found it very emotional in fact.
It's very refreshing these days to come across a woman who is genuinely happy and fulfilled in being a 'traditional wife'. So I am a real Pauline fan, and feel very defensive of her when the media criticise her for her looks or hairstyle, or for deciding to continue to 'stand by her man' (which is more than most of us would have done). You go for it Pauline, I'm sure you've gained a new generation of fans!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
good so far. Haven't finished reading it but it seems it was a regular situation, getting pregnant before marriage! Nothings changed.....
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By lizw on 18 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An enjoyable, well written book, funny at times, sad at other times giving an insight into political life with a "human"touch
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By Dusty Dora on 18 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book. really good, well written true story. very pleased that it had a happy ending.
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