Daughter Of The Queen Of Sheba by Jacki Lyden
"'I am the Queen of Sheba, my mother announced to me in a regal voice". She was wrapped in toga of bedsheets, with eye-pencil hieroglyphics drawn on her bare arms, a tiara on her head. I was twelve years old.' When she was well, Jacki Lyden's mother was a pretty but powerless suburban 60s housewife, very much under the thumb of a cruel doctor husband (Jacki's stepfather), but when she was gripped by the illness (later diagnosed as manic-depression) she got revenge for all the disappointments in her life. She became, among others, Marie Antoniette, dressed in Victorian bustiers, spent money she didn't have on fabulous cars and presents, painted slogans on the furniture and murals on the walls, went places she wouldn't normally have dared and - became someone she wanted to be. She frightened her three girls, but her bids for power fascinated and inspired them too. If Jacki's mother could escape to exotic places, so would she. In her 20s Jacki set out on her own impassioned journeys - she became a radio journalist, fearlessly reporting from war zones. But always her mother's fantasies remained a frustrating and compelling lure.