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The Great Western Beach

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If you look up the reviews of this memoir of a Cornish childhood between the wars you'll see them sprinkled with 'remarkable', 'exceptional', 'enchanting'... every one is fully deserveed. In other hands this could easily have been just another bit of miz lit for Emma Smith's father was a depressed, disappointed, violent man locked into marriage with a woman he despised, he bullied his family, especially his sickly elder son, the children had few friends and the atmosphere at home was usually one of tense watchfullness in case something triggered their father's explosive temper.


Yet there is nothing miserable about this wonderful book. Emma Smith, who has a remarkable memory, writes with wit and compassion about her unhappy parents and with joy and happiness about everyday life in Newquay. I adored this book and would reccomend it to anyone.

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