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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who was Uncle Ro?
This autobiography is as exciting as a detective story, or a novel. It is beautifully written, and casts a light on families which are untypical - it is a valuable contribution to the literature about families which don't fit into our preconceptions of the standard family.

Yvonne was a happy little girl. She lived with her two mothers, Bigga (the large one)...
Published 18 months ago by curlew

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Coming of Age in the early sixties
An honest and searching account of an unusual childhood and later life. The childhood scenes are closely observed and compelling ,The adult events are more sketchy and cover a great deal of material. This is an important account of a coming of age in the 1960s from a provincial and feminist viewpoint and highly recommended .The author has great style developed with a...
Published 19 months ago by Felicity Craven


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who was Uncle Ro?, 14 Nov. 2013
This autobiography is as exciting as a detective story, or a novel. It is beautifully written, and casts a light on families which are untypical - it is a valuable contribution to the literature about families which don't fit into our preconceptions of the standard family.

Yvonne was a happy little girl. She lived with her two mothers, Bigga (the large one) and Tyna (the little one). They gave her a lot of love and she felt very secure. However, one day she was given a letter at school to take home to her parents. She handed the letter over, but asked "What are parents?" At about this time she noticed that most of the other children she knew had a daddy who helped to look after them. Why didn't she have a daddy? Had her parents given her away, perhaps because they didn't like her? Then one day she found a letter which indicated that Bigga and Tyna had adopted her. Oh, so her parents were dead, they hadn't given her away, all was well.

Years went by; sometimes there were postcards from 'Uncle Ro.' Who was Uncle Ro? One day she was told that "Uncle Ro is dead." What was that about?

One evening, at an event at the school, she suddenly noticed that Bigga's face was identical to her own. So what was the truth? Who were her parents? Why had Bigga and Tyna surrounded her with a web of lies - and yet, throughout, been so kind and loving?

The rest of the autobiography tells of Yvonne's education in a Roman Catholic School, and of her switch to the Church of England. It tells of her academic career in Cambridge, of her falling in love and her marriage. But underlying it all was the desire to find out who she really was. Was it possible that she had other relatives whom she could one day meet?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Coming of Age in the early sixties, 2 Nov. 2013
An honest and searching account of an unusual childhood and later life. The childhood scenes are closely observed and compelling ,The adult events are more sketchy and cover a great deal of material. This is an important account of a coming of age in the 1960s from a provincial and feminist viewpoint and highly recommended .The author has great style developed with a creative writing course at Goldsmiths and a wealth of psychological insight .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling reading!, 6 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Things My MotherS Never Told Me (Kindle Edition)
I think this book is an amazingly candid account of a very unusual family constellation and its effect on the child concerned. It reveals clearly how conspiracies of silence functioned in the 50s and even afterwards - but can we be sure things are better today with the much looser types of family structure now apparent? Emotional literacy is still not always adequate to help children to understand own their situations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book that publishers should have Accepted, 17 Oct. 2013
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tThe skill and knowledge of the author was so good.It was so well writtenThe mixed emotions were so well portrayed
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful voyage of discovery, 10 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Things My MotherS Never Told Me (Kindle Edition)
I found this book to be very moving and extremely well written. For example, when Yvonne was a little girl, her expressions matched that of a little girl - her expressions aged as she did in the story. She does not hold anything back - especially in recounting those memories which can cause a shudder down the spine (as I am sure we have all had at times). Yvonne's voyage of discovery was certainly carried out bravely - I think some people would have given up - tracing blood relatives is very risky - especially when dealing with potential rejection. I don't as a rule re-read books - but I have started to do so again and I am still finding it enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More exciting than a novel, 9 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Things My MotherS Never Told Me (Kindle Edition)
This is an enthralling story. The child's voice at the beginning rings so true, and so do the adult experiences that follow. I had read the author's article about having 2 mothers in the Guardian several years ago, and the sample chapter that I downloaded onto my Kindle left me hungry for more.
I wasn't sure that the chapter by the author's son actullay added anything, though of course this is his family's story too. I did appreciate the thoughtful answers she gives at the end to the questions that people ask about her story
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5.0 out of 5 stars What is 'family'?, 20 Nov. 2013
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"There are more things...on earth than are dreampt of..." Yvonne's story of growing up with two mothers is fascinating. The clarity of her memory - especially about her feelings - and her use of the present tense made me feel right there along side the bewildered child. It seems so sad that the mother who had borne her was never able to acknowledge this to Yvonne in words. If Bigga had been able to, would it have given Yvonne more security as an individual in her later life? What a triumph though that Yvonne was able to search for - and find - the information about her Swiss father, and get to know some members of his family. I hope that those who read this book, from whatever kind of 'family' they come, will know that no configuration is impossible or unheard of.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and honest autobiography, 22 Jan. 2014
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Judith Hattaway (Arborfield, Berks United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Things My MotherS Never Told Me (Kindle Edition)
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Yvonne's book. Her search to understand who she was,where she came from, and the elements that combined to create the searching adult, made for a powerful read.
I met Yvonne in the 1990's when she taught me (though now she probably won't remember) and her grasp of human interactions and how adults learn struck me then as coming from someone with great wells of knowledge. Reading this I got a glimpse of how that had come about. Thank you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Things my MotherS never told me, 16 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Things My MotherS Never Told Me (Kindle Edition)
Excellent read, very moving and thought provoking. Makes you think about how lucky you are if you know who your parents are and have a good family to support you.,
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Things My MotherS Never Told Me
Things My MotherS Never Told Me by Yvonne Craig Inskip
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