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Yesterday Morning Paperback – 6 Oct 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books; Reprint edition (6 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847084265
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847084262
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 1.2 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 223,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

A joy to read from start to finish - "Sunday Independent"
Athill's astringent prose has the remarkable quality of making one look forward to old age - "Evening Standard"
"Yesterday Morning" is a captivating book. It is as if she had set out with a butterfly net to catch everything about her early life in an upper-middle-class English family before it - or she - vanished: the beloved grand house in Norfolk, the servants, her unhappily married parents. - "Guardian"
Athill's honesty in describing her feelings as a young girl and old woman makes her memoir universal. - "The Independent"
Athill's writing is like a really good apple: crisp, juicy, at once sweet and tart. She describes youthful games and discoveries in a voice that manages to combine delighted immediacy and ironic distance....The book feels at times like a grab bag, a collection of all the odds and ends Athill traces to her early years - "The New York Times Book Review"
A compulsively readable memoir of a golden age - "The Times"
Athill has added importantly to those works of literature which illuminate the vagaries of human emotion. - "Daily Telegraph"

From the Publisher

‘Yesterday Morning is a captivating book’ - The Observer

‘The writing is limpid, vigorous, often blissful’ - Evening Standard

‘Athill has always had a peculiar and attractive talent for communicating her pleasure in life’ - Telegraph

'A compulsively readable memoir of a golden age...'- The Times

'Athill’s honesty in describing her feelings as a young girl and an old woman makes her memoir universal.' - The Independent

‘Above all, her honesty shines through, giving a wondrous clarity to this warm yet sharp depiction of childhood.’ - The Sunday Times

‘Diana Athill [...] tells her tale with admirable dispassion, but she does bring a lump to the throat’ - Sunday Telegraph

‘With an unsentimental and candid intelligence that brings the world of England in the 1920s to vivid life’ - Publishing News

'Rather refreshingly, this is a fond recollection of a happy childhood as well as a detailed portrait of English life in the 1920s.’ - The Bookseller

‘This childhood memoir is remarkable for its truthfulness…Athill writes with such skill and wit…a vivid picture of a childhood in a distant world’ - Spectator

'...there is nothing false about the retrospection, and you believe every word she writes.' - Daily Telegraph --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Flutter Bye TOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 Jan. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ms Athill's prose flows so easily, it's a joy to read. Her memory and account of events which took place more than 80 years ago are so lively and fresh. She makes them sound as if they happened yesterday.

Her memories are vivid and detailed giving the reader a priviliged view into a world long since disappeared. As social history her depictions of life, influences and events within her family and close circle are shrewdly accounted without affectation. She is honest, sharp and more than anything, amusing. She has such joie de vivre and sparkle. A truly fine book by a wonderful lady. I'm about to start on her two most recent works (Stet reviewed below covers her publishing years) to complete the circle of a most remarkable life. Thank you Ms Athill for sharing!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved reading this book. It is beautifully written - literary, but not too erudite. It would appeal to those who enjoy social history, as well as auto-bios. As the author is in her eighties, her life spans an interesting historical period. It is an excellent "holiday" book" - I read it, whilst away, in a couple of days. I have now bought and read a later book, concerning her older life, by the same author which I enjoyed equally.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved reading this elegantly written account of the childhood of Diana Athill. She writes with great honesty and kindness and she made me laugh. I look forward to reading all her other books.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this glimpse into a childhood which, although the author had material wealth, there lurked sadness under the surface - her parents' marriage was not a success. The descriptions of day to day life at her grandparents' 20 bedroom mansion were fascinating. This is not a book that I would normally have bought - but I would highly recommend it for its fluent and confident style and glimpse of a world long since gone.
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Format: Paperback
I regard myself as something of fan of Diana Athill. I absolutely LOVED Stet, which really made her name, and had read a further four books of hers before coming to this one. So it is with some regret that I have to say I don't think this is her best work. It is a very affectionate look back at her childhood and young years. What it still has, in common with her other books, is an almost disarming frankness and complete lack of inhibition in writing about every aspect of her life, a characteristic I very much admire. She also writes very well, and I do love her reflections on what forms us as adults. She recognises that her privileged upbringing gave her many advantages in adult life, and values her experience as character-forming and sometimes life-changing.

If you have never read Diana Athill's work before, and are of a certain age, this will quite possible still charm you and hold your interest. But it is not, in my view, her best work as there are some rather boring episodes, and it would not be my first recommendation for anyone coming new to her work.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although quite a bit of this is repetitive if you've read "Instead of a Letter", I much enjoyed this book and her clear memory of what it was like to be a small girl, living much of the time in her imagination. She's very clear headed about her privileged life and the attitudes of those around her - which she fully overcame as an adult!
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Format: Hardcover
Enormously interesting story of life for a young girl in a pre war country house environment and its impact on her life.She felt immensely priviledged to have had such a happy childhood in a world long since vanished and her stories from a child's vantage point of the "upstairs & downstairs" world are not to be missed.To me it is the genuine article warts and all! Very well written and absorbing I read it thru at one sitting.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
On the surface this is about someone who has lead a very privileged childhood, but many of the occurrences will translate into the general experience of growing up for all levels of society. Diana is very honest about her experiences and this all adds up to a very enjoyable read.
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