Nowadays many celebrities publish their autobiographies when they are still in their 20s, presumably to cash in whilst they are still famous. Thankfully Ms Leith's book is the 'real deal', detailing as it does nearly 50 years of cooking, loving and much else. Most of all, unlike the ghost-written products of those 'celebs' perhaps unable to string a sentence together, the writing is vivid, funny, poignant and exceptionally honest - one feels that this is the 'real deal', warts and all, with nothing swept under the carpet or concealed from view.
And what a life it has been - from growing up in South Africa, finding the love of food (and men !) in France, to opening up a catering business and having a lifetime relationship with an older man who was also a family friend. These are no sanitised snippets, but neither is it a "kiss and tell" in that the honesty of the authoress shines through. You can tell that the passion Prue has for food is part of her overall passion for life. She took risks, both in her personal and professional life, and ended up not only a well-known cook and restaurateur, but businesswoman, patron of the arts (she is the force behind the 'fourth plinth' at Trafalgar Square), wife, mother and lover. She catalogues her mistakes as well as failures, and one comes to the end of the book feeling that you now know Prue, and can fully understand why she chose the title she did for her autobiography. If you want a rattling good read, and are bored of reading bland memoirs devoid of taste - put some "Relish" on your plate. Like a favourite recipe, you'll want to share this with friends and family - my copy is already out on loan and my Mother's Day present dilemma is sorted.