Patrick Neylan's Reviews > The Kindness of Strangers: The Autobiography

The Kindness of Strangers by Kate Adie
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's review
Sep 18, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: auto-biography, non-fiction
Read in October, 2004

Adie's autobiography is an interesting though unsurprising walk through her career, but she keeps her life at arm's length. She leaves you with the impression of a talented, focused journalist (which we knew already) with a sharp mind and rigorous principles.

So far, so admirable. But Kate as a person? We don't even get close. Relationships? She lets on that she has had some but nothing more. It's almost chilling the way we learn about how she met her real mother at last. The emotions all come out for a page or two; then they are switched off completely and the woman and her family are never mentioned again. Her emotional control almost never slips.

This isn't an autobiography but more a memoir. Adie shows us round her career, but we walk behind her, not beside her. Adie the journalist is revealed in wonderful detail. Kate the woman is as much a stranger when you've finished the book as when you started.

Note: Make sure you look up the word 'diffident' before you start reading. It's Adie's favourite word and she likes to use it. A lot.
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