Summary

Shortlisted for the British Book Awards, Biography of the Year, 2008. Here is the no-holds-barred autobiography, read by the author, of one of the nation's best-loved cooks. Her life has led her from wealth and privilege to alcoholism, bankruptcy, and eventually fame in Two Fat Ladies.
As a privileged child, shooting and hunting were the norm, and pigeons were flown in from Cairo for supper. Clarissa's mother was an Australian heiress; her father was a brilliant surgeon to the Royal family. But he was also a tyrannical and violent drunk who used to beat her and force her to eat carrots with slugs still clinging to them.
Clarissa was determined and clever, though, and her ambition led her to a career in the law. At the age of 21, she was the youngest-ever woman to be called to the Bar. Then disaster struck when her adored mother died suddenly. It was to lead to a mind-numbing decade of wild over-indulgence. Rich from her inheritance, in the end Clarissa had partied away her entire fortune.
It was a long, hard road to recovery, along which Clarissa finally faced her demons and turned to the one thing that had always brought her joy: cooking. Now at last she has found success, sobriety, and peace. With the stark honesty and the brilliant wit we love her for, Clarissa recounts the tale of a life lived to extremes. A vivid and funny story, this audiobook is as moving as it is a cracking good listen.
©2007 Clarissa Dickson Wright (P)2007 Hodder and Stoughton Audiobooks
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Critic reviews

"Clarissa Dickson Wright's ( Spilling the Beans) has lingered in my mind since I heard her voice crack with emotion, then firm up with doughty panche. Her father was a tyrant who refused to pay for her education as a barrister. But she made her way until her mother's untimely death, and she turned to gin. She frittered away a fortune, then scanned the small ads for a job as a cook. How she got there to Jennifer Patterson's sidecar is hilarious and moving."( The Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Alison St Pierre on 06-10-13

Enchanting throughout! A must read!

Beautifully written. A glorious use of language, beautifully read. Honest emotion affects Clarissa's reading at certain points and is all the more moving for it. I adored this book and didn't want it to end. Honest, funny, sad and insightful. Loved it!

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Marie on 22-09-09

Interesting

Very interesting.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By AppleCedAR on 05-04-14

Clarissa is a Character in the Truest Sense

What made the experience of listening to Spilling the Beans the most enjoyable?

The honesty was brutal. She lived a fascinating life and hit the highest highs and lowest lows in her time with us.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Clarissa Dickson Wright of course. She was truly, one-of-a-kind.

What three words best describe Clarissa Dickson Wright’s voice?

Droll: aptly humorous and timely without trying. It is genuine and earnest. And yes... funny.

Sensitive: clinical at early on, but you feel the heartache when her heart aches.

Resilient: few have the staying power that Clarissa states as matter-of-fact. Simply stated, it was the way it was.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The point where this "tough one" relates the loss of her dog due to the depths of alcoholism was incredibly moving to me. For all of Clarissa's strength, there is a most fragile heart revealed in moments like these.

Any additional comments?

"Spilling the Beans" is an easy listen and a brief one too. I enjoyed it. Perhaps more so because I was new to her story. I arrived here not as an ardent fan rather knowing her merely as one of "The Fat Ladies" and casually so. Upon getting wind of who this woman actually was, I realized that this was a woman of depth with a compelling story to tell. At that, I wasted no time finding this book and am glad for it.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Janis on 19-03-16

a good read about her life .inspirational

many parts left me laughing out loud and also tearing up. she is an inspiration to those with fought beginnings

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