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In this intriguing and very personal book, part diary, part memoir, P.D. James considers the twelve months of her life between her 77th and 78th birthdays, ‘a time to be in earnest’, as Dr Johnson said at the comparable moment of his very different life two centuries ago. In recording the events, thoughts and reflections of her present, Baroness James has found herself simultaneously remembering the past of her remarkable career. She recalls what it was like to be a schoolgirl in the 1920s and 1930s in Cambridge, then giving birth to her second daughter during the worst of the Doodlebug bombardment in London during the war, working as an administrator in the National Health Service, entering the Home Office in the forensic and criminal justice departments, serving as a Governor of the BBC, an influential member of the British Council, the Arts Council and the Society of Authors, and eventually entering the House of Lords.
Along the way, this diary and personal memoir deals with her burgeoning reputation as a novelist, starting with Cover Her Face in 1962, and with the craft of the classical detective story. During this busy year she also published one of her most intriguing and carefully researched books, A Certain Justice. This record of twelve months in a life of creativity and public service, told with honesty and perception, will enthral aficionados of detective fiction. It will also appeal to those who themselves have lived through the turbulent years of the twentieth century.
P.D. James is the bestselling author of Death Comes to Pemberley and Children of Men, both of which have been adapted for film, with actors such as Michael Caine, Clive Owen and Jenna Coleman playing leading roles.
She has served up a feast of a book.
A wonderful read and as such will give pleasure to all P. D. James fans.
Like all the best diaries hers allows the reader to share in the small pleasures and domestic dramas of her days.
A wonderfully vivid evocation of a lower-middle-class childhood of oil lamps and gas mantles, water heated up on a coke boiler for the weekly bath, liberty bodices, prickly combinations, a father severely remote from his three children and a long-suffering mother.
Deeply moving . . . . Page after page recalls a vanished world.
A cornucopia of discernment, judgment, and wisdom.
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