Since the publication of my memoir The Baby Box, I’ve received a few cards, many emails and, from the brave ones, telephone calls. Various reactions have been felt by readers, some too personal to repeat here. The main message was that the book was read rapidly (I couldn’t put it down was a frequent comment), enjoyed by all, met with surprise by some – and shock I suspect, although no one admitted that – all voices expressing praise.
Rather than peppering the page with lines of different viewpoints, it seems best to settle for the following analysis sent by one reader.
I personally liked the cover. It was understated but evocative once you have read the book. My thoughts when I recommended the book to my book group as our next read were: the writing which I enjoyed, the topics which remain relevant today, sadly, even if we don’t want to see it, and the characters which are so well described and real (somewhat obvious for a true story but not necessarily!).
The book is an easy read. It is well written and the style flows across the pages. The reader is pulled in to know what happens next, but still enjoy the reading as it comes. I am sometimes tempted to skip long narratives in some books to get to ‘the next bit’.
The topics are challenging, drawing out strong emotions yet the narrative avoids being ‘mushy’. There is no ‘sentimentalism’ as the story touches on all sorts of difficult topics – mother/daughter, first boyfriend, the power of female friendship, society’s ‘demands’, the deep loneliness of dealing with such an important challenge at a relatively young age.
The reader finds her loyalties being pulled in different directions as she takes one side of a discussion, and then the next.
The characters are treated so openly, and without judgment – which is quite a ‘tour de force’ when the author is the main character and this is a true story. The reader cannot help but understand each of the characters actions as if looking at things from their point of view. A subjective objectivity, if that makes any sense.
Thank you for sharing your story. And for your epilogue and explaining the importance of that phone call in the final chapter which left your speech strangled as your realised how the world ‘out there’ needs to understand.
What more needs to be said. I am content. If you’d like to buy the book, go to the page BUY THE BOOK and I will post it to you postage free.
My mother and me reconciled after all the turmoil.
Winnifred Ivy Newey nee Funnell. RIP.