The book is in seven parts, beginning with her mother’s life, just north of Manchester,
and the early years of the author (here called Steph) and her brother. In total ignorance
of worldly realities, Steph is, at the age of fifteen, happily catapulted into drama
school in post-war London, where she does well, but cannot negotiate her way into
the work she is capable of doing. This is a telling of the more seamy side of the
’60s for unprotected young women and, after decisive traumas while at RADA, it becomes
clear that an academic life might best produce an income and some achievement.
Here, her bogey is a lurking, undiagnosed health problem, which leads to many dramas
of its own! But somehow the odds fall in favour of books being written and teaching
going well. And the memoir ends with a deathbed or even a post-mortem reconciliation
with her mother, with whom she had had a difficult relationship.