This Boy

This Boy

[a Memoir of A Childhood]

Book - 2014
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Alan Johnson's childhood was not so much difficult as unusual, particularly for a man who was destined to become Home Secretary. Not in respect of the poverty, which was shared with many of those living in the slums of post-war Britain, but in its transition from two-parent family to single mother and then to no parents at all. This is essentially the story of two incredible women: Alan's mother, Lily, who battled against poor health, poverty, domestic violence and loneliness to try to ensure a better life for her children; and his sister, Linda, who had to assume an enormous amount of responsibility at a very young age and who fought to keep the family together and out of care when she herself was still only a child. Played out against the background of a vanishing community living in condemned housing, the story moves from post-war austerity in pre-gentrified Notting Hill, through the race riots, school on the Kings Road, Chelsea in the Swinging 60s, to the rock-and-roll years, making a record in Denmark Street and becoming a husband and father whilst still in his teens. This Boy is one man's story, but it is also a story of England and the West London slums which are so hard to imagine in the capital today. No matter how harsh the details, Alan Johnson writes with a spirit of generous acceptance, of humour and openness which makes his book anything but a grim catalogue of miseries.
Publisher: London, Corgi Books,, 2014
Edition: Corgi edition
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9780552167017
Branch Call Number: 941.085092 JOH NVD
Characteristics: 307 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some colour) ; 20 cm


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Jan 07, 2015

Please cancel my request to purchase this book.

kbraunizer Dec 14, 2013

This is a fabulous book and shows that even if a child starts with nothing in life and faces many obstacles along the way, they can get through it and become very successful in later life. The role his sister, Linda took at such a young age when their mother dies is admirable and I don't think many 16 year olds would do that in the current world. Highly recommend this book.

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