Reviews

He That Is Down Need Fear No Fall

Barbara Young died on 15 May 2003. She was 93. She had never married and had no children. She did have a nephew, Ulick, and two nieces,...go to book...
Irish Times Jul 15, 2008

The commentator Bruce Arnold's memoir of his father, a quite extraordinary, not to say impossible, character, is also exceptional. It is a tribute to the author's narrative sense and elegant style that we are not bamboozled by the pace of events, the succession of women, the staggering energy of this elderly man, and the lengths to which the well-connected English middle class on their uppers went to to keep the show on the road. These were indeed different times, and a different country. Bruce Arnold realised that what he got from his father was love, the greatest gift; he still feels its force, 'hitting me like the waves of the sea'.

Sunday Tribune Jun 28, 2008

Bruce Arnold's panoramically personal memoir is a compelling narrative of the intense affair between his father and the great love of his life, Barbara Young."... beyond such gifts, however, what is perhaps most poignant and of greatest benefit regarding Arnold's engaging autobiographical memoir is that, once you've set aside this exquisite recollection, you retain the feeling love is everything.

Books Ireland May 10, 2008

This is a strange and haunting book about a strange and haunting love story.

Irish Independant Mar 8, 2008

This is a book that is joyous and sad at the same time; a book that will be a treat for anyone who likes reading memoirs. It's a fascinating story, which in passing gives a great insight into the threadbare London of the '40s and '50s and also into boarding school life at the time. This book is all about love; about George's love for Barbara, and about the love between father and son. It is this quality of writing, acute observation and ruthless honesty that marks a similarity between this book and McGahern's memoir. Arnold's book deserves to be just as big a bestseller.

An Irish Woman in Czarist Russia

Kathleen ffrench lived a storybook life – a life of opulence in a world on the brink of destruction. The headstrong child of an Irish...go to book...
Mar 24, 2013

This is a fascinating tale and deserves a wide readership.

Thomas Keneally

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