6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Speaking for Myself: The Autobiography (Hardcover)
What a fabulous read and what an incredible woman.
I would disagree with Julia Flyte - I actually did not have a particularly high opinion of Cherie Blair previously, probably because of the wicked picture portrayed by the media. I have totally revised my opinion and warmed to her very much.
Cherie is an incredible woman who managed, somehow, to combine being a mother, a successful barrister, and the wife of a prime minister. This is somewhat awe inspiring for those of us who "just" combine the motherhood and career bit! This is a woman who cannot sit still - she had to go back to work fairly quickly after her early children as Tony had become an MP and taken a significant drop in income, but even then she was combining motherhood and a career with various roles within the church, the labour party and other contributions to the community such as being a school governor - I felt exhausted reading all this, yet she does not sell herself as some kind of superwoman at all, if anything she is very matter of fact about about her achievements (which are many) - she portrays herself as a mum who wanted to continue with her career and have input into the community.
I disagree with some of the reviews that have stated that Cherie is self pitying - I would say she is the opposite and takes any setbacks in her stride and even mentions her philosophy of 'pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again' several times. It is perfectly obvious that academically she was far ahead of Tony - the Bar exam finals proving that, yet she is pragmatic about the fact that largely the legal world at that time was still predominantly a man's world. Rather than complain and look at the injustices of some of the situations she found herself in, she just kept her head down, worked hard and got on with it, which has clearly been the secret of her success. Clearly she gave up her political aspirations to allow Tony to pursue his, becoming the main breadwinner in the family but there is no sense of bitterness however, or indeed any competitiveness - she truly supported him and believed in his ability to rise up through the ranks of the Labour party.
She is refeshingly honest and incredibly self-deprecating as well as coming across as very warm, caring and highly amusing. My only criticism of the book is that the overall feel is that has been written very quickly. I would actually have liked to read more and it could have been much more detailed and perhaps in two volumes.
I would thoroughly recommend it.