This Time Next Year We’ll Be Laughing: A Memoir

Jacqueline Winspear. Soho, $27.95 (314p) ISBN 978-1-64129-269-6
Winspear, the Agatha Award–winning author of the Maisie Dobbs mystery series, uses her talent as a consummate teller of tales to share family stories, some of which she later discovered were greatly exaggerated or untrue, in this lovely memoir. Though she was born in 1955, she provides a visceral portrait of London during WWII and the hardships and cultural changes that shaped England in the decades that followed. She brings to life the sights and fragrances of the Kentish hop fields where her parents did seasonal work, and she unfolds the slow route she took to becoming a writer, starting in her 40s when she wrote her first novel inspired by family war stories. Along the way, she illustrates the kindness of Romany travelers, and devotes a chapter entitled “A Gypsy Life” that recounts how her parents, before they had children, lived in a caravan alongside some Romany families and became friendly with them. At one point, Winspear describes how betrayed she felt when she discovered that her mother lied to her by making her uncle, her mother’s beloved brother, the hero of many of the mother’s wartime stories when in fact some other, more distant relative was the hero. Readers of the Maisie Dobbs series will take particular pleasure in spotting the origins of places, characters, and even plotlines. The author’s fans and lovers of recent English history will be delighted with this elegantly executed memoir. Agent: Amy Rennert, Amy Rennert Literary. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/11/2020
Release date: 11/03/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 312 pages - 978-1-64129-294-8
Library Binding - 978-1-4328-8559-5
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