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Mango And Mimosa Paperback – 4 Oct 2001

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; New Ed edition (4 Oct. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860498949
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860498947
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.3 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 625,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

She is resolutely outward looking, recording the sights and sounds of an extraordinary childhood with blazing clarity and calm affection....The charm of this book floods the mind with proxy pleasures (SPECTATOR )

In this engaging memoir, she demonstrates how an unconventional childhood can be the best possible preparation for an adventurous adult life. Stamina and humour shine through this book (TLS )

This memoir is a fascinating piece of history, as well as a portrait of a courageous and remarkable woman. (DAILY EXPRESS )

Book Description

* The paperback of this enchanting memoir of a deeply eccentric upper-class upbringing and young womanhood during wartime * As read on BBC Radio 4

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fabulous, engrossing read.
It was recommended by a friend & almost as soon as I started I messaged her to thank her for the recommendation - so many passages were worth reading aloud to whoever happened to be within earshot!
Suzanne's entire life, from her birth in 1921 until the end of WWII, was full of excitement, interest & fascinating characters. I was very disappointed to reach the end & search, fruitlessly, for a sequel.
She wrote so beautifully & I would have loved to hear from her about the rest of her life.
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Format: Paperback
Amazing childhood, amazing life! The author's father was a rubber planter in Malaya but very remote and seemingly unwilling to spend much time with his family. She did however spend periods in Malaya and the family's ramshackle bungalow and its various livestock are vividly portrayed.
On long leave, he established a household near Vence in the South of France where he left the family very much to their own devices. Her mother had to bring up her young brood there, which she did largely by the excellent device of letting them bring themselves up. They became very independent in the process. The author's descriptions of of life in Provence and in various holiday homes on the south west coast of France are idyllic and poetic.
The family was forced to flee France, just in time to avoid capture by the Germans, and managed to reach England. She and her brother stayed there but her mother took the remaing two children back to Malaya, only to be forced to escape the Japanese invasion and ending up in Austrlia. The father was captured and spent the war in Singapore's notorious Changi Jail but he managed to survive.
In the meantime, the author wangled a job as a journalist in various British service propaganda offices in North Africa, then
Europe. During her travels, she met and finally married an Army officer. From the way her book ends, it seems another volume is in preparation. Let hope it does not take long.
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Format: Paperback
Suzanne St Albans has had a very intresting life - certainly the first twenty five years or so (which are dealt with in this memoir) appear to have been. Born in Malaya, where she spends a few years of her eccentric childhood, she lived much of her life in the south of France, with her mother, nanny and siblings, her father being largely absent. As a teenager she goes to school in Paris and then later for a short time in England. When war threatens their French idyll, the family flee to England again, and Suzanne now about twenty starts work in the county library. Soon - longing for a more active role in the war she finds herself working for Basic News - Psychological warfare Branch in Algiers, and later Italy. I have to say I found this part of the memoir fascinating, to think that a young woman of about twenty two or three could suddenly find her self moving from a county library to a news agency in Algiers is remarkable. Overall a very readable and engaging memoir.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fabulous! Enjoyed every second of this beautifully written memoir. Had me laughing out loud. "exotic" does not begin to describe her childhood in Malaysia. One to keep.
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