Others have clearly loved this book, judging by the number of five-star reviews, but I'm afraid I really didn't like it very much. I couldn't warm to Diana Athill, who came across as cold and unfeeling, or to her writing style which seemed to me to lack any warmth or humour.
Admittedly she is honest - about her absence of emotional attachment and about her attitude to her mother's last days, for instance - but, morals apart, she seems rather obsessed by her sexual encounters as she refers to them even in chapters where they wouldn't normally feature.
The book has no particular structure, jumping from subject to subject, and often describing events and relationships from her earlier years. There's nothing wrong in reminiscing about the past, except that the blurb could give the impression that the book provides more of an insight into old age than it does.
There were sections that I enjoyed: a chapter about books, for instance, and another about her `irreligiosity' - an ugly word if indeed it is a word. She describes herself as irreligious yet brought up to adhere to Christian principles (although she seems to have ignored this where the seventh Commandment is concerned).
Maybe I was expecting something more akin to A Positively Final Appearance by Alec Guinness, which was witty and entertaining, and which I loved. Diana Athill's style seemed to me pretentious and flat, and her poetry is some of the most awful that I've ever read.
Its main merit is that it's very short, the nominal 182 pages condensed by the two blank pages that preface each chapter.