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Customer Review

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An honest and funny memoir ... and more, 22 July 2012
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This review is from: Far from the East End: The moving story of an evacuee's survival and search for home (Paperback)
Far From the East End is an excruciatingly honest but funny memoir. Iris Jones Simantel's opening salvo about almost being born in toilet bowl - 'I can only imagine what a shitty view of the world I might have had were it not for that nurse and her timely intervention' sets the tone and style of an account of the first sixteen years of her life in war-torn England and her struggle against being locked in to the restrictions of her class.
Simantel says it herself, in her opening chapter, 'Born a Cockney girl': 'I learned early in life to use humor as a defence against the shame of being poor and on the lowest level of the British class system - our "station in life."'
Simantel's tale is no fiction, but this first book in a series (more are promised) is nothing short of the first stage of a hero's journey narrative, with all the requisite parts: the protagonist, uneasy in her normal world; the call to adventure; the mentors; and the leaving on a quest.
This book never disappoints, and in the end, leaves you eager to read the sequel.
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