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Too Many Mothers: An East End Childhood Paperback – 1 May 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books; New edition edition (1 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184354301X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843543015
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 473,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

A gut-wrenching memoir that still has you gasping with laughter… simply unforgettable. A hell of a book. -- Frank McCourt

A remarkable emotional memoir. -- The Times

Absolutely breathtaking. What a fantastic read. -- Martina Cole

Funny and touching, Too Many Mothers afforded me deep pleasure and it moved me to tears. -- The Sunday Times

[An] affectionate memoir every bit as dramatic as any television soap. -- Daily Mail

Book Description

The unforgettable memoir of a life stranger than soap opera, set in South London in the Fifties. Abridged edition. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on 22 Jun 2006
Format: Paperback
This is another one of these books which you will find hard to put down. This is really well written weaving in the all the family members in there own individual chapters. It is linked up with one memoir of a boxing day in 1956 which runs through the whole book. Mary and Bob have five daughters and two sons and it tells all there stories. Mary who's roots lie in an Irish travelling family spends her life begging, buying, selling and running from the Tallyman. She is a hard woman who seems to be ruled by money but in the abject proverty of London's East End between the wars who can blame her. We meet Granny Clara who sorts out young Mary. Uncle William who loves Flo who has a plate in her head. Vi who spends some time as a guest of HM Prison Service just like her Mother. Doll who wants something better and a baby, Win who falls in love with the wrong guy and Carol who marries the wrong guy. Robert who gets out and makes some life for himself despite his Mother stealing his 10 bob notes and young George who hits the road for New Zealand. You see them though the eyes of young Roberta who has to deal with her own idenity being a mystery. You do at times feel that this lot are a bit hard and Mary is not a perfect Mother by a long, long shot but the grinding poverty they have to put up with is an eye opener. Its also sad, funny and never does she once moan or pass judgement on any of them. She writes well and if you like Alan Bennetts obsevations and his family tales you will enjoy this.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Still on 21 Nov 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because I like Roberta Taylor as an actress, and would have been happy to read anything by her. I had expected a quick in-flight-read kind of a book. But it was a much better and richer experience than that. By the time I put it down, every character had been etched so clearly and memorably on my mind that I felt as if they'd all rented a large house in my head, and were carrying on their colourful lives up there.

Although it's all based on real-life characters and events from her own past, this isn't a book about Roberta Taylor, it's a book about life in the east-end of London in the first half of the 20th century. There's a real poignancy about it. You get the impression that the 1950s are such a watershed in Britain that looking back is like looking over a high wall.

She crafts the story for maximum impact and enjoyment, not to make herself the centre or focus of it. She does it brilliantly - the structure of the book leads to a tightly-woven cloth of overlapping and interwoven threads, with the same narratives sometimes retold from two or more perspectives. There's both a clear, forward-thrusting narrative, and a contemplative, side-stepping and time-hopping one which gives depth and suspense.

Far from being just another memoir by a celebrity, for my taste, this is up there with some of my favourites like Kate Atkinson's Human Croquet, or Cider With Rosie, or Under Milk Wood. Now that many of the places in the book have long since been glazed and steeled with new Docklands developments, this is a beautiful memorial to a past which is indeed another country.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Samantha Stringer on 7 Aug 2006
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Rough, tough women, hardship, tears but also lighthearted moments and lots of hope. Just a blimmin' good read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E A Drake on 16 Mar 2006
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book and read the whole thing in 2 days, just couldn't put it down. Roberta Taylor tells a brilliant story with very engaging characters and in a format to keep you interested. Amazing to think that it's all true. Highly recommeded.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. Morris on 27 July 2006
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book. It focuses mainly on Roberta's life as a child, the two generations above her and how they interact with one and other. It had me laughing out loud in places and at times you do forget that this is a true story. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in Roberta, family life and also to those who are interested in life in East-end London in the past.

Id now love to know what happened next and how Roberta came to be the actress she is today.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Lee on 2 April 2006
Format: Hardcover
Roberta Taylor's memoirs really are unique. They show a humorous, exciting and even fun side to growing up in the East End of London. It makes it all the more impressive that she's got so far having come from such a working-class, almost even impoverished, family, and now being one of the best small-screen actresses of our time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Feb 2006
Format: Hardcover
What can I say, this book is absolutely fantastic.
Roberta Taylor's early life is better than fiction you can't write this stuff.
Now I've finished the book I miss the characters already.
I can't wait for another title from this actor come author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By sarah morgan on 13 Mar 2006
Format: Hardcover
i thoroughly enjoyed this book from roberta taylor. i could just imagine how life was like for her.this was a book once i picked up i couldn't put down
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