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on 28 February 2012
There are several disappointing reviews that might put people off; so I have written this, simply to show its real merits.
Other reviewers seem uncertain how to describe the daughter of Molly and Ginger, the authoress, Jackie. Is this an 'ordinary' childhood'? Is she just a 'spoilt kid'? Is this a case of sheer selfishness - 'Me.me,me'? No it is none and all of these.It is actually a very truthful story of a child's growth to womanhood and independence in a bizarre post-war poor neighbourhood; a privileged, affluent family dependent on a father whose money came from the wrong side of the law and whose friends were often 'undesirables'. Ginger is an illegal bookie's runner and Molly the typical 'dolly bird' of the 50's.
Jackie and her friends present the thoughtful reader with challenging questions about education, morality, family relationships,adolescence and chastity. The answers emerging in the story reflect pre-sixties 'liberation' but are close enough to present the dilemmas facing a generation living across those years.
To suggest that the story is boring can only reflect a reader either careless enough to simply focus on each set of events or unprepared to 'read' the fascinating sub-text that emerges from practically every episode that Jackie describes. An attentive reader will find a central character who, in her storytelling, virtually presents the body-language you might find in a film. I am just a few years older than Jackie. The portrait of the period is clear, vivid and stimulating. The book is the difference between a primary source and a secondary source. If you want a detailed history, buy a history book. If you want to feel and understand what it was like to live in immediate post-war cities, you will find no better book on the shelf especially towards the end.
Just one tiny criticism: Jackie is a journalist and there is something slightly sassy in the selective journalistic nature of the narrative. Strangely, for me, the control in the later chapters is enhanced by that selection. This is a relaxing and informative read.
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on 18 June 2017
Truly enjoyed this book. Very well written. First time reading her work but very interesting to read about London in the fifties and the post war era
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on 22 June 2017
If I had lived in the East End I would have landed in prison, well written, great read.
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on 13 March 2014
To be fair I didn't finish it. Basically because it went on and on and nothing much happened, This is the way of most childhoods of course, but while it is interesting to the writer it become pretty boring to an outside reader to learn the day to day ordinariness of a different era.
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on 3 November 2011
Finished this book late last night and was disappointed to get to the end, it was a really good read bringing back memories. I found myself throughout thinking 'yes i remember that!' to things like Tizer, sherbet etc, the author also gave the reader a good insight to the way of life in the east end....in all a good read one of which i would certainly read again
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on 22 June 2017
good book for people growing up in 50s
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on 27 April 2017
OK read - quite enjoyed it.
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on 18 March 2017
The book was very enjoyable
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on 5 August 2017
Love it
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on 2 April 2017
Very good read
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