On Chapel Sands: My Mother and Other Missing Persons
In the autumn of 1929, a small child was kidnapped from a Lincolnshire beach. Five agonising days went by before she was found in a nearby village. The child remembered nothing of these events and nobody ever spoke of...more
How does consciousness emerge? We are not born with it. We cannot remember being without it. Suddenly it is there. A mystery. There is a before and an after. But there is no way to pinpoint the event. After it occurs we have memories, uncertain but nevertheless our own. Before the event, we rely on other people, external evidence, to confirm our existence. If that evidence is incomplete or contradictory, even greater mysteries arise.
The mystery of consciousness for Laura ...more
It also occurred to me that preserving photos and other material from grandparents, great grandparents does help to find out how they lived. I know so little in that respect.
On an autumn evening in 1929, three year-old Betty Elston was taken from a Lincolnshire beach. Her mother, Veda, was close at hand as her daughter played happily on Chapel Sands, ...more
'Five Days Gone' is a memoir of a child who was kidnaped in the fall of 1929 for 5 days in Lincolnshire (a county in eastern England, with a long coastline on the North Sea to the east). A substantial piece of the book is about Elizabeth (other ...more
This book is a true account of Cumming's mother's five day disappearance from a beach when she was a young child and the aftershocks that resulted from ...more
In this book, Laura Cumming attempts to uncover the mystery of this mysterious event in her mothers ...more
In her new book, the art critic Laura Cumming unravels the mystery of her mother's disappearance one day in late 1929. Five days went by before she was found unharmed, but she remembered nothing of these events and the silence about what happened remained for fifty years when the circumstances of her kidnap came to light. Laura finds clues in everyday objects and crucially the family photo album, and her search for the truth uncovers a series of secrets, ...more
Laura Cummings, as a late-life gift to her beloved mother, has drawn together the threads of the story of her mother's birth and up-bringing, a story so bizarre and emotionally convoluted that it could easily pass as the outline of a lost novel by Thomas Hardy.
Cummings uses one episode from her mother's infancy as the hook to draw her readers in: when Betty was three years old, she was "kidnapped" out from under ...more
In brief, On Chapel Sands is the story of Lauras mother, Betty Elston more ...more
The sense of place is beautifully drawn - I know the area of Lincolnshire described.
However, there's an awful lot or repetition and padding. The padding is done by what I can only describe as random art criticism, and whilst it is interesting it isn't really relevant. So, no surprises to find out that Cumming is an art critic!
I also ...more
If you're an art history buff, you might really enjoy this book. The prose was beautiful at times and was generally quiet. But, I would recommend being in the mood for a lot of ...more
This is a writing style that captures me and doesn't want to let me go. Also, the author was good at hinting at further unravelling of the mystery, so that I wanted to carry on and see what happened next.
The author's mother had lived a very claustrophobic childhood. She was never allowed to go anywhere alone. For the most part, she wasn't allowed to go anywhere. When this is your norm, ...more