Memoirs of an Unfit Mother

Memoirs of an Unfit Mother

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Product details

  • Paperback | 214 pages
  • ISIS Publishing
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • New ed of Large print ed
  • 0753197693
  • 9780753197691

Review Text

Anne Robinson is probably best known as the resident dominatrix of television game show The Weakest Link. Her long, difficult and relatively distinguished career as a journalist takes second place to an assumed persona that hides a history of failed relationships, personal pain and loss - and an addiction to alcohol that almost killed her. Growing up a good Catholic girl with a charismatic but domineering mother, Robinson's early career success as a reporter left her unprepared for any kind of failure. A desperately unsuccessful first marriage left her ripe for conversion to hopeless drunk and lost her custody of her two-year-old daughter, Emma. In these days before feminism, the courts seem more concerned about Robinson's career ambition than about her drinking, her solicitor tries to bed her and Emma's care is eventually entrusted to her equally ambitious journalist father. The most affecting part of the book concerns her struggle to drag herself out of addiction, though there is much more to the book than an inspirational real-life tale. Its scope stretches across three generations, from the life of her outrageous powerhouse of a mother, through Robinson's own chequered history, to the blossoming movie industry career of grown-up Emma. It also has much to say on the women's issues that touched upon this lifelong journalist's career - from the rise and fall of Margaret Thatcher to the unhappy marriage and eventual death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Stylistically, the book reads like a newspaper column. Tightly written - sometimes too tightly - its slick journalese is an odd vehicle for confessions of pain and vulnerability and can make the reader feel manipulated into a preordained response. Nevertheless, it's both an absorbing read and an intriguing slice of 20th-century social history. (Kirkus UK)
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