Young Mary Newton, born into a large Irish family in a small Watford semi, is always getting into trouble. When she isn’t choking back fits of giggles at Holy Communion or eating Chappie dog food for a bet, she’s accidentally setting fire to the local school. Mary is a trouble magnet. And unlike her brothers, somehow she always gets caught....
Britain in the 1970s is a world where R. White's lemonade is drunk in secret, curry comes in a box marked "Vesta", and beanz meanz Heinz. In Mary’s family money is scarce. Clothes are hand-me-downs, holidays are a church day out to Hastings, and meals are variations on a potato theme. But these are good times, and everything revolves around the force of nature that is Theresa, Mary’s mum.
When tragedy unexpectedly blows this world apart, a new chapter in Mary’s life opens up. She takes to the camp and glamour of Harrods window dressing like a duck to water, and Mary, Queen of Shops is born....
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Disappointing but I will buy the next!
I was hoping for a biography virtually right up to date but it finished abruptly in her early twenties.
Nothing - it was a sincere story of her early life.
She didn't - Mary gave a great performance.
Looking forward to the next instalment.
- P. M. Thomas
A story of tenacity in small chunks.
- Alison R Russell