'The best memoir by a politician you will ever read' Philip Collins, The Times
School on the Kings Road, Chelsea in the Swinging 60s, the rock-and-roll years, the race riots; this boy has seen it all.
Alan Johnson's childhoodwas not so much difficult as unusual, particularly for a man who was destined to become Home Secretary. Not in respect of the poverty, which was shared with many of those living in Britain's post-war slums, but in its transition from being part of a two-parent family to having a single mother and then to no parents at all...
This is essentially the story of two incredible women : Alan's mother, Lily, who battled against poor health, poverty, domestic violence and loneliness to try to ensure a better life for her children; and his sister, Linda, who had to assume an enormous amount of responsibility at a very young age and who fought to keep the family together and out of care when she herself was still only a child.
This Boy is one man's story, but it is also the story of England and the West London slums which are hard to imagine in the capital today. No matter how harsh the details, Alan Johnson writes with a spirit of generous acceptance, of humour and openness which makes his book anything but a grim catalogue of miseries.
PRAISE FOR THIS BOY :
'Moving and unforgettable' Sunday Times
'Tribute to two strong women' Daily Mail
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