A beautiful little book - one wants to pigeonhole it as 'biography' (of his mother), but it's much more a work of literature than that.
Barrie looks back on his life in Scotland, with his numerous siblings - though all but two remain nameless - and his parents. His father is barely mentioned, for it is his mother who seems to have been the centre of the author's life.
In early chapters we see the heartbreak she went through on the death of Barrie's elder brother, while away at school:
"I heard a listless voice that had never been listless before say 'Is that you?' I think the tone hurt me, for I made no answer, and then the voice said more anxiously 'Is that you?' again. I thought it was the dead boy she was speaking to, and I said in a little lonely voice, 'No, it's no' him, it's just me.' Then I heard a cry, and my mother turned in bed, and though it was dark I knew that she was holding out her arms."
But Mother is not just a tragic or saintly character, for Barrie brings out in full her humorous character, whether devouring works by his rival, RL Stevenson (covertly - "you must remember that she only read it to persuade herself (and me) of its unworthiness, and that the reason she wanted to read the others was to get further proof.") or in her refusal to stay in bed when ill.
Both beautiful and gently amusing, I found this a book that grew on me.
- Paperback: 216 pages
- Publisher: Wentworth Press (6 March 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0530368110
- ISBN-13: 978-0530368115
- Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.2 x 23.4 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 308 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review