Monday, June 02, 2008

SPILLING THE BEANS by Clarissa Dickson Wright (2007)

This candid and unsentimental memoir by one of the "Two Fat Ladies" will take your breath away. Wright's childhood was spent in the shadow of her much older siblings and her tyrannical, alcoholic father (who happened to be a brilliant and sought after surgeon) who smacked Clarissa and her heiress mother around whenever it occured to him. Clarissa was also clever and totally determined and became the youngest woman ever called to the bar in the UK at the age of 21.

Her life falls apart when her beloved mother dies unexpectedly and Clarissa spends the following decade drinking herself into a stupour and partying away her entire inheritance. Only when she finally becomes sober does Clarissa find happiness and success with her unlikely partner in the Fat Ladies franchise.

There is no self pity in this book and it is rife with gossipy bits about the Royal family passed along as though it were mess hall conversation.

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