Another unexpected spin-off from the book: my son who is reading it now texted to say that learning about Nancy’s childhood had made his own remembered traumas seem less dire – the humiliation of doors falling off the car on the way to school (in front of his friends) pales into insignificance next to what Nancy had to endure. And in truth, they didn’t ‘fly off the car in a gale’ as he remembers, so much as get dragged off by gravity and my incompetence with double-de-clutching as we lurched up school hill (it was an aged Morris Traveller). You can see why he’d remember it.

But it must be weird reading a book written by your mother about your grandmother. I think I would have said Thanks very much, placed the book where it could be seen, and then failed to read it. So I’m touched that he is bothering.

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