Monday, 31 October 2011

Ashworth, Andrea "Once in a House on Fire"


Ashworth, Andrea "Once in a House on Fire" - 1999

I absolutely loved this book. The writing is just wonderful. You can imagine being there which is the best praise I can give to an author.

Andrea Ashworth describes her youth in a penniless household full of violence and other problems. Her depressive mother sends the family through a series of stepfathers, none of whom can be describe as “normal” family members.

I just admire Andrea for what she achieved despite all the problems she had and could have used as an excuse to fall into the same pattern as her mother did. I felt sorry for the mother at times, angry at others but then sorry again because I can see how you end up like her. She just didn't have any hope that anything could get better if she changed.

In any case, I can highly recommend this book. And no, I don't want to hear anything that would spoil my admiration for the book and the author, either.

From the back cover:
"For Andrea Ashworth, home is not a place of comfort and solace, but of violence and fear. Her father died when she was five, leaving her close-knit, loving family to battle with poverty abuse and the long shadow of depression. But from the ashes of 1970s Manchester and the hardships of her coming-of-age in the late 1980s, Andrea finds the courage to rise...

Written with eye-opening honesty, rare beauty and intense power,
Once in a House on Fire is a ground-breaking memoir, endearing in its humour and compassion, and life-affirming in its portrait of terrible circumstances triumphantly overcome."

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