Diana Athill

The Triumph of Love

The Three of Us: A Memoir

By

Jonathan Cape 320pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

I am on the verge of feeling hostile towards books about people surviving appalling childhoods, and it seems that I am not alone in feeling like that: I have just read a piece by Libby Brooks in The Guardian in which she remarks that shelves seem to be ‘heaving’ with them nowadays – a suggestive choice of verb. So I had reservations about embarking on Julia Blackburn’s memoir, which tells just such a story. The fact that I was unable to put it down is proof of how well she tells it, and of how such an experience, if described with real skill, honesty and sensitivity, will make a valuable book, however many others of a similar kind have been published.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'The breadth of Clarke’s knowledge and experience, coupled to a conspicuous absence of pomposity, makes for easy an… ,
    • In this month's Silenced Voices, Lucy Popescu shines a light on Myanmar's persecution of writers and journalists, p… ,
    • Lecture on war and peace in 19th-century Europe by Professor Sir Richard Evans, Thurs 25 Oct, 6.30pm Europe House… ,
    • 'Why, throughout the world, are so many people fascinated by the fiction and reality of espionage? And why of all p… ,
    • . here on books, Muriel Spark and life's tangled dance ,
    • RT : There aren't enough aggressive subtitles these days: ,
    • Churchill's on the cover of the October edition of the magazine. Piers Brendon reviews two new books about the Brit… ,