Days from a Different World: A Memoir of Childhood by John Simpson
`I have already touched on my childhood in Strange Places, Questionable People. But the further through life I get the more I want to revisit it. I want to look at the whole of my childhood, the England I grew up in and my family. Family and country seem inextricably linked - in some ways our country is like our family: we know it extraordinarily well, yet we don't always like it. Nevertheless, it keeps its hold on our loyalties in spite of everything else.'
This is not a mere exercise in nostalgia, rather it is a journey through the England of the late 1940s in all its shabby wonder and it will also tell the somewhat strange and often deeply painful story of John Simpson's family. Here we meet his father and his grandmother, who is still living in the small and rather depressing south London suburb which his family had built, dominated and, finally, declined with. We meet the grandfather who drank the family money away and abandoned his wife and children and the grandfather who toured the country with a Wild West show. We learn, too, of the broken marriages and the unfulfilled lives, about the people who had died, and the lives which were just beginning. Candid, beautifully written and touching, Days from a Different World, will enchant all those who read it.