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Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute delight, 24 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Dear Lupin...: Letters to a Wayward Son (Hardcover)
I stumbled upon this book rather by accident, while looking for a suitable present for a colleague of mine who had just given birth to her first son, and on a whim bought two copies: one for her and one for me. It so happens that I have three sons myself, at this moment in time too young perhaps to be called 'wayward' or any other quality with absolute certainty. Nonetheless, a father I am, and though I've always steered clear of any 'good parenting'-books this was clearly something completely different. So I eagerly began reading the letters this father wrote to his son, and it proved to be an absolute delight, in more than one way.

First of all, in spite of the long and varied catalogue of anxieties Charlie Mortimer's lifestyle must have provoked with his father, there is nonetheless a huge amount of fine humour as Roger Mortimer, in an inimitable style, keeps on writing to his son letters brimming with irony and self-deprecation. Though he surely must have felt desperate at times, the love Roger Mortimer felt for his only son Charlie spills from every page. If ever proof was needed that fathers - rare exceptions excluded - cannot help but love their sons no matter what, well here it is, buckets full of it, perhaps all the more so because Charlie Mortimer was indeed in my humble opinion 'a wayward son'.

Besides that, reading 'Dear Lupin...' was to me personally like a trip down memory lane full of nostalgia. I grew up in a completely different kind of family, in a different country, and a slightly different period (Charlie Mortimer was 13 by the time I was born), and yet ever so much is instantly recognizable. As I slowly but surely approach the age of 50, it felt good to read about a period that now seems ages ago already, when people still wrote letters on paper to each other instead of text messages on their cell phones, and buying a new car was a grand event.

Lastly, not just as a father but as a person, I found Roger Mortimer an eminently likeable man! In one of his letters he writes that at an early age he reconciled himself to the status of belonging in life's ranks in the category 'also ran and made no show'. I beg to disagree, I think Roger Mortimer made a grand show and a huge difference, to his children definitely, and to all of us who read this marvelous book. If ever one of my sons proves to be as wayward as Roger Mortimer's, I can only hope I can deal with it as magnanimously as he did.
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