34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Heavily biased account, 5 May 2010
I have never written a review on Amazon before but was so annoyed by the authors biased account of the Mitford sisters that I felt I had to say something. This book is interesting purely because the Mitford sisters were interesting, not because this book is particularly well written.
The author is obviously very taken with Diana Mitford and gushes throughout. There is no criticism about Diana's support of fascsim or friendship with Hitler. The author tries to prevent the reader from judging the Moselys throughout and goes in to much detail about the hardship they faced in prison during the war years. I also find it strange that she never mentions Diana's opinion on Hitler's policies towards the Jews. We hear how Unity Mitford laughed when she learned that one leading Nazi had made a group of Jewish people mow a field of grass with their teeth. What did the Moselys think of this? How could they still like Hitler when stories like this were coming to light before the war?
I actually think this books does Diana a disservice because all we really hear about her is that she is beautiful and very much in love with Mosely. Surely there was more to her, good and bad.
I found the authors description of Decca Mitford harsh. Decca's support of the communist party is not forgiven nearly as easily as Diana's support of fascism. Decca gives birth to a stillborn daughter and people at the time commented that this could be due to Decca's communist activities. Instead of highlighting how hurtful and unfair this is the author comments that this just shows how much people don't like being told which political beliefs to hold.
Decca sounds like an inspirational woman, staying true to her politics throughout her life. Unlike Diana and Sydney she is also critical about her earlier beliefs and is far more self aware.
Both Decca's marriages sound loving and fulfilling yet these marriages are not given the great billing that the Mosely marraige is given (despite Oswald Mosely's many affairs).
It is a shame that the author is so biased because as I say they are a very interesting family. I can't help but think this book is so biased because Diana Mitford was still alive when the book was published. The author had met and very much liked Diana Mitford which really does colour her account of the sisters lives.