Tiny Sunbirds Far Away by Christie Watson

About the book

‘Everything changed after Mama found Father lying on top of another woman.’  Blessing and her brother Ezikiel adore their larger-than-life father, their glamorous mother and their comfortable life in Lagos. But all that changes when their father leaves them for another woman.  Their mother is fired from her job at the Royal Imperial Hotel – only married women can work there – and soon they have to quit their air-conditioned apartment to go and live with their grandparents in a compound in the Niger Delta. Adapting to life with a poor countryside family is a shock beyond measure after their privileged upbringing in Lagos.  Told in Blessing’s own beguiling voice, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away shows how some families can survive almost anything. At times hilarious, always poignant, occasionally tragic, it is peopled with characters you will never forget.

 

Reviewed by Stubbington Book Ends

An enjoyable read and a good balance between the humour and reality of life in this African country, with wonderful characterisation”

star rating ****

 

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Aprons and Silver Spoons by Mollie Moran

About the book

When young Mollie became a ‘skivvy’ in a stately London townhouse aged just 14, she quickly learned that a large amount of elbow grease and a sense of humour would be tantamount to surviving there. Through Mollie’s eyes we are offered a fascinating glimpse into London’s invisible ‘downstairs’, a world that has long-since vanished: cooking huge roast dinners, polishing doorknobs, scrubbing steps – and covering up her employers’ scandals. Going to dances with her fellow servants and flirting with Harrods’ errand boys, she had no idea that the oncoming war in 1939 would change her world, and that of those she served, forever…

Discover the real hardships and rewards for a pre-war domestic servant in Mollie Moran’s charming memoir Aprons and Silver Spoons.

Reviewed by Cake and Book Club

“Our group of nine ladies enjoyed this very easy read. Very Upstairs Downstairs / Downton Abbey theme. Set in the 1930s it is a wonderful social and political history of class divide. A very interesting glimpse into the past social traditions”

star rating ****

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