11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life (Hardcover)
This is such a lovely book. I can't recommend it highly enough.
What's it about? Well, in it Alan Bennett reads an extract from the author's unfinished semi autobiographical novel, which is apparently very similar in vein to her letters, and isn't sure himself.
"It's funny," he says, and adds "I'm not sure what it's about. A bunch of literary types doing laundry and making salad - or something."
The letters the author sent to her sister during her time as nanny for a literary north London family are indeed funny, hilarious in fact, and Alan Bennett, a neighbour, is one of the literary types making salads - or something.
The book and all the characters in it are a delight, and it's a real tonic for those times when life is wearying, you're a bit jaded or feeling cynical about stuff. Or any time at all really.
The author has a knack for recreating dialogue and then adding her own idiosyncratic take on the proceedings.
Here's an example:
Yesterday I cooked a stew (four hours - oven lowest). AB (Alan Bennett) came for supper.
AB: Very nice, but you don't really want tinned tomatoes in a beef stew.
Me: It's a Hunter's Stew
AB: You don't want tinned tomatoes in it, whoever's it is.
Who's more likely to know about beef stew - him (a bloke who can't be bothered to cook his own tea) or The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook?