Wednesday 18 February 2009

Childhood Memoir

Finished February 17
The Dangerous Edge of Things: a village childhood by Candida Lycett Green
This book takes you through just over a year in Candida's life in the small village of Farnborough in Berkshire. From January 1949 through February 1950, Candida describes her life in the village, her relations with the other children, the adults in the community, and village life. Candida lives with her father, the poet John Betjeman and her mother Penelope Chetwode. Her brother Paul is off at boarding school most of the time. Candida has a best friend, June, who lives in the village with her parents and older siblings. Many of the men in the village work on farms. Nearby is the Harwell Atomic Research Centre, where some in the community work. Candida's knowledge of her fellow villagers grows during the year and she finds that many have hidden depths she didn't realize. This is a memoir of a year that Candida becomes more aware that people are complex and in which she loses some of her innocence.
Well told and giving a good sense of village life, this memoir is very readable and engaging.

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