Once in a House on Fire
Being somewhat of a “memoir connoisseur,” as of late, I have come to instantly categorize most memoirs into particular categories. There is the Wrecked Home Life/Horrific Childhood memoir (think A Child Called It or Angela’s Ashes or even A Long Way Gone). Th...more
So, I did my work experience for a literary agency in London - they represent authors such as Patrick Ness, Derek Landy, Jeff Noon, Elizabeth Cook - and once upon a time - Andrea Ashworth. On my last day, one of the agents gave me a few free books, and amoung them - this gem. He told me that it was a memoir of Ashworth's life, but instead of being mainstream non-fiction, it was beautifully written and very literary. Thinking it would be a variation of a 'Mummy...' book, I decided to get it ove...more
And yet I ended up picking up Andrea Ashworth's memoir all the same, largely because Blake Morrison had written a glowing review. And I'm glad I did - a tale of domestic abuse and the grimness of life on the do...more
This was an amazing, horribly truthful, and heartbreaking read. It felt as though you were there, with Andrea Ashworth and her sisters willing and cheering her on, and hoping that they all came through it.
I really enjoyed Ashworth's use of language - it feels very literary and poetic at the same time, and I really look forward to any more books from her!
I finished it only a few minutes ago and, to be honest, I'm feeling overwhelmed.
It was incredibly painful yet Ashworth creates such beautiful poetic images out of truly awful situations.
A must read.
Her choice of nonfiction as her first work was a matter of wanting to deal with her past, and then be able to move on to writing fiction. She is currently working on her first novel. "I wanted to get my memories out because I wanted to pin them down, so that all thos...more
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At home, something ripped under my skin when I smiled, trying to pretend that everything was fine. Deadly moods lurked in a purple-white haze, smoke clinging to the curtains, turning stale overnight.”