Should The Lost Child have been written? This mother's tale of kicking her violent, drug-addicted seventeen-year-old son out of the family house set off a media storm earlier this year even though it was not due to be published until 4 May. ‘Absolutely appalling’, said one typical contributor to press debates.
Right adjective, wrong target. If expelling a child from the family nest is an unimaginable act, it is that much more important to know why and how a well-known author, journalist, celeb and mother of three did it. What is misjudged in Julie Myerson's gripping book is its padding-out with an utterly uninteresting story about Mary Yelloly, an early nineteenth-century Suffolk painter who died of consumption.
It must have been a great relief to Myerson to plunge into a historical detective chase to take her mind off her hideous troubles at home. She claims she began the Yelloly biography before her son's difficulties overwhelmed her. She relays the biographer's delight in research (not always