6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Memorable and remarkable,
This review is from: Instead of a Letter (Paperback)
Diana Athill's writing has been one of my most rewarding finds over the past few years. I started with Stet and was bowled over by it, and have since read Somewhere Towards the End, and After the Funeral, both very impressive. So in a way I have been working backwards through her memoirs, which is rather a shame as I usually like to start things at the beginning. And yet when we get to know people we start with the present and gradually uncover their past, so perhaps it is in the natural order of things.
In fact I do not think it matters which book you start with. Every one of her volumes is written in the same refreshingly honest, reflective manner, utterly self-deprecatory and without false pride. She recognises her own shortcomings, but not always her own strengths.
There is not a dull sentence to be found in this book and what I particularly relish is the way she analyses every aspect of her life - the world around her, the people in her life, what happens to her, the effect on her and, stepping back, the way we react to the events in our lives. She is so deeply reflective and philosophical I usually learn something about myself in the process of reading her books.
I am putting the remaining Diana Athill books on my wishlist - I just wish she were 30 years younger so that there would be more to look forward to, but then she would be a different person entirely, for we are shaped by our history.