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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching Tribute
The fact that this has been written by Kirsty MacColl's mother adds to the tragedy of the story. From her childhood, to burgeoning musical career, personal life and tragic death this book gives a full account of the life of a great talent. Some may feel the book deals with her life too quickly as a large part of the book details the ongoing fight for justice following...
Published on 15 April 2008 by Chris Millar

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Tragic Account of a Brilliant Talent
Kirsty MacColl was one of the most gifted singer-songwriters of her generation. Her witty lyrics demonstrated a sharp eye for the world around her. All musicians that worked with her admired her talents. Her death, run over by a powerboat in Mexico was a tragedy. People are supposed to remember exatly where they were when JFK was shot - I know exactly where I was when I...
Published on 16 Jan 2009 by Tigers fan


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Tragic Account of a Brilliant Talent, 16 Jan 2009
By 
Tigers fan (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sun on the Water: The Brilliant Life and Tragic Death of Kirsty MacColl (Hardcover)
Kirsty MacColl was one of the most gifted singer-songwriters of her generation. Her witty lyrics demonstrated a sharp eye for the world around her. All musicians that worked with her admired her talents. Her death, run over by a powerboat in Mexico was a tragedy. People are supposed to remember exatly where they were when JFK was shot - I know exactly where I was when I heard the news of Kirsty's untimely death. The failure to secure a conviction of the boat's captain despite numerous witnesses to the even is a scandal for which the Mexican Government, and the UK's representatives in that country, ought to be deeply ashamed.

Jean MacColl is a formidable woman, and the fortitude with which she has fought her daughter's case is truly inspirational. If you have not done so you should visit the Justice for Kirsty website.

And yet, despite that I'm afraid I can't recommend this book. Jean says several times that she turned down invitations to write her own autobiography, but the present work comes across far too strongly as just that - an account of Jean's life in which Kirsty features, rather than vice versa. If I never hear about the Laban school of Movement again it will be too soon.

Alongside this, the book is just very badly written - several anecdotes are repeated; some appearing three times. Peripheral characters are introduced (and re-introduced) in far too much details. Three year's of Kirsty's punk career are dismissed in one line to the effect that she probably confided more in her friends than in her mother. When we do get input from fellow musicians it is in the format of long quotes loosely linked together.

I am genuinely sorry that I can't give Sun on the Water a ringing endorsement - Kirsty deserves for her story to be shared very widely but this is not the account I hoped it would be.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching Tribute, 15 April 2008
This review is from: Sun on the Water: The Brilliant Life and Tragic Death of Kirsty MacColl (Hardcover)
The fact that this has been written by Kirsty MacColl's mother adds to the tragedy of the story. From her childhood, to burgeoning musical career, personal life and tragic death this book gives a full account of the life of a great talent. Some may feel the book deals with her life too quickly as a large part of the book details the ongoing fight for justice following her death. However the inclusion of excerpts and memories by a range of known (and lesser known) musicians and as I said the fact the book is written by her mother and not some faceless writer who never met her (something dealt with in the book itself) more than covers for this.

This is a touching mother's tribute to her tragically killed daughter.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tomorrow Never Comes, 30 Jun 2008
By 
C. Voisey "Chris Voisey" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sun on the Water: The Brilliant Life and Tragic Death of Kirsty MacColl (Hardcover)
Kirsty MacColl's tragic death in December 2000 robbed the music world of a great singer/songwriter but it also robbed Jean MacColl of her youngest child and in her heartfelt, loving book she tells us of her relationship with Kirsty and the anger that fuels her search for justice for Kirsty's manslaughter off the coast of Cozumel that sunny afternoon.

In her book which had me smiling then moist-eyed then angry, Jean shares memories of her exceptionally bright and inquisitive little girl who captivated all who met her. They shared a unique relationship due to the fact that because Kirsty had chronic asthma as a child she was rarely well enough to go to school so mother and daughter were rarely parted.

This is a biography where for once the subject's showbiz career is sketched in as Jean is more interested in Kirsty's life offstage with her friends & family and above all her devotion to her two sons. This is done so well that while reading of the aftermath of Kirsty's death I again felt the feeling I had when I first heard the news.. that I had lost a friend.

The failure of the Cozumel and wider Mexican judiciary to conduct a proper investigation into Kirsty's death is still a shocking indictment of the corruption inherent in the system - no doubt helped along by the fact that the man who owns and was on board the speedboat that killed Kirsty is Guillermo Gonzalez Nova, one of the richest men in Mexico.

This is a book that ultimately one wishes should never have been written but for it's central core of love and pride I am glad Jean did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heart-felt and Passionate Biography, 18 Jan 2012
By 
Lincs Reader (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sun on the Water: The Brilliant Life and Tragic Death of Kirsty MacColl (Hardcover)
Kirsty MacColl has been one of my favourite singer song-writers since I was a teenager and I heard her debut single 'They Don't Know'. I was just discovering music properly and her individuality and strong views really appealled to me, Kirsy and I shared the same birthday, although she was six years older than me. Most people will know her best for the iconic track 'Fairytale of New York', recorded with The Pogues.
Kirsty was killed on 18 December 2000 whilst diving with her two sons in Mexico. Her death shocked and saddened me, especially as it seemed that the cause of her death was being covered up by the Mexican authorities. The Captain and owner of the boat is one of Mexico's most wealthiest and influential business men. He has never answered for what happened on that day.
This book, written by Kirsty's mother Jean is a tribute to Kirsty's life - her childhood, her career and her family. The sorrow and loss felt by Joan comes through so clearly in her writing, and although this is not the most well-written biography that I have read, it is one of the most passionate. This is not just the story of Kirsty, but of her mother too. Jean is better known as Jean Newlove - an accomplished dancer and ex-wife of folk-singer Ewan MacColl.
It's an interesting read and gves a good insight into Kirsty's unusual childhood. Their trips across Europe to Poland via train, her home-schooling and her growing love for music. Jean's accounts of the tragic accident are heart-felt, the impact on her family was massive.
Kirsty MacColl will always be remembered for her music, it's a terrible shame that nobody has ever been held accountable for the terrible event that took her life so early.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sun on the Water The Brilliant Life and Tragic Death of my Daughter Kirsty MacColl By Jean MacColl, 8 Oct 2011
This review is from: Sun on the Water: The Brilliant Life and Tragic Death of Kirsty MacColl (Hardcover)
Jean MacColl tells the life story of her daughter Kirsty MacColl from her childhood through to the fame and success she has in the music business and celebrates her brilliant career. It also mourns her tragic death. Kirsty was killed by a speedboat in Mexican waters while she was on a diving trip with her two young sons in December 2000. Jean tells the heartfelt truth, the shocking story of the elaborate cover-up and gross miscarriage of justice that followed and the on going appeals and campaigning for justice to be done in her name.

Kirsty is best known for her hit records in the 1980's such as `There's A Guy Down the Chip Shop Swears He's Elvis/ `A New England'/ `Days'/ and the fantastic Christmas smash hit `Fairytale of New York' with The Pogues.

This is a moving story that will touch your heart. The book is beautifully put together written with a mothers love for her daughter and the pain of losing her in such tragic circumstances.

`I never ceased to be amazed at the love Kirsty generated during her lifetime, and at how strongly it has continued until the present day' Jean MacColl.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous read!, 7 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Sun on the Water: The Brilliant Life and Tragic Death of Kirsty MacColl (Hardcover)
Great story of a really underrated singer and human being. Absolutely loved everything that i read regardless of such a emotional sad ending of a diva who was blessed with the voice of an angel. God bless you!
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars SUN ON THE WATER DEATH OF KIRSTY MACCOLL, 10 Mar 2010
By 
Mr. G. Honey - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sun on the Water: The Brilliant Life and Tragic Death of Kirsty MacColl (Hardcover)
I THOUGHT THAT THIS NOVEL WOULD BE ALL ABOUT KIRSTY MACCOLL BUT ALOT OF IT WAS JUST ABOUT HER MOTHER WHO WROTE THE BOOK AND IN THE END PUT THE BOOK DOWN BECAUSE IT GOT RATHER BORING
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