The Secret Orchard of Roger Ackerley by Diana Petre

Secret OrchardMore from Shiny New Books! And it is becoming almost a tradition for me to read one of Slightly Foxed’s beautiful memoirs in almost every issue – this time an author I’d never heard of. It’s a brilliant memoir about a distant mother/daughter relationship – sometimes literally distant – and discovering that someone Diana thought was a family friend was actually her father. And it more of a study of those around her than a memoir, really, as she remains an enigma to the end. Heartily recommend!

As usual, here’s the start of what I wrote, and you can read the whole thing at SNB.

I am always unable to pass on the chance to read a Slightly Foxed Edition and, having re-loved 84, Charing Cross Road in the last issue of Shiny New Books, it was fun to go and read something about which I knew absolutely nothing. Who was Roger Ackerley? Who, for that matter, was Diana Petre? And what was this orchard? The answers weren’t what I was expecting, but this memoir is none the less brilliant for that.

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