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Love Child
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An inside view of a legendary Hollywood family and a wonderful depiction of an eccentric Anglo-Irish early childhood For fans of Cold Cream by Ferdinand Mount, Bad Blood by Lorna Sage and When Did You Last See Your Father? by Blake Morrison An extraordinarily tender and moving mother-daughter story

Huston's memoir begins when she is five years old, learning of her mother¿s death from her godfather. Although she is sent to live with her father, the film director John Huston, he is an intermittent presence in her life. Then, when she is 12, Allegra's stepmother informs her that her real father is the British historian John Julius Norwich. Huston, who spent several years as an editor in British publishing before creating a writers' workshop in New Mexico, skillfully integrates her childhood memories with revelations from her mother's correspondence, recounting her often-awkward encounters with "my dad" (Huston) and "my father" (Norwich) with great sensitivity. Although she spent part of her adolescence living with her older sister, Anjelica, there isn¿t much in the way of Hollywood gossip beyond fleeting scenes of Marlon Brando playing chess and verbal abuse from Ryan O'Neal. Instead, the emphasis lies in young Allegra's constant feelings of alienation and the subtle development of familial affections that culminate with Hustons and Norwichs coming together to witness the christening of her own son. Where many memoirists compete to see who¿s had the most outrageous life, this story stands out in its quiet poignancy. 16 pages of b&w photographs not seen by PW. (Apr.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

About the Author

ALLEGRA HUSTON was born in London and raised in Ireland, Long Island and Los Angeles. She worked in publishing for Chatto & Windus and Weidenfeld & Nicolson, where she was editorial director, and then as a writer, her work appearing in various publications, including The Times, the Independent, Tatler, and Harper's Bazaar as well as French Vogue. She now lives in Taos, New Mexico.

Reviews

Huston's memoir begins when she is five years old, learning of her mother¿s death from her godfather. Although she is sent to live with her father, the film director John Huston, he is an intermittent presence in her life. Then, when she is 12, Allegra's stepmother informs her that her real father is the British historian John Julius Norwich. Huston, who spent several years as an editor in British publishing before creating a writers' workshop in New Mexico, skillfully integrates her childhood memories with revelations from her mother's correspondence, recounting her often-awkward encounters with "my dad" (Huston) and "my father" (Norwich) with great sensitivity. Although she spent part of her adolescence living with her older sister, Anjelica, there isn¿t much in the way of Hollywood gossip beyond fleeting scenes of Marlon Brando playing chess and verbal abuse from Ryan O'Neal. Instead, the emphasis lies in young Allegra's constant feelings of alienation and the subtle development of familial affections that culminate with Hustons and Norwichs coming together to witness the christening of her own son. Where many memoirists compete to see who¿s had the most outrageous life, this story stands out in its quiet poignancy. 16 pages of b&w photographs not seen by PW. (Apr.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

'This extraordinary book reveals the all but unendurable sorrow of loss, and the difficulties of those unwilling to live in a world without love. Because Huston's concerns are with what she has seen and learned, rather than with alienation and the affixing of blame, her memoir glimmers with triumphant wisdom' Susanna Moore 'A fascinating and profoundly moving exploration of family secrets. Poignant, inspiring and beautifully written, an intriguing first-hand account of growing up inside a world the rest of us can only read about' Joanna Briscoe 'A touching glimpse of the pain and longing felt by a child who doesn't quite belong to anyone, this unsentimental journey through the star-studded vacuum of her various families is unexpectedly tender and forgiving. She writes with an artist's eye for detail, with the clear gaze of a small outsider, searching forever for love' Joanna Lumley

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