Only: A singular memoir by Caroline Baum

Reviewed by
March 2017, no. 389
Gillian Dooley reviews 'Only: A singular memoir' by Caroline Baum

Only: A singular memoir

by Caroline Baum

Allen & Unwin $32.99 pb, 384 pp, 9781760293970

Only: A singular memoir by Caroline Baum

Reviewed by
March 2017, no. 389

Some ‘only’ children have revelled in that status. Iris Murdoch called her family unit ‘a perfect trinity of love’. Caroline Baum sees her family less happily as a triangle: ‘There’s something uncomfortable about a triangle: it’s all elbows, suggesting awkward unease.’ We find out in the following 380-odd pages the whats and whys of this discomfort. Some of it is historical; perhaps most is historical. Her father came to England with the Kindertransport. Her French mother had an equally traumatic but more singular childhood. Both were deprived of a normal family life as children.

Gillian Dooley reviews 'Only: A singular memoir' by Caroline Baum

Only: A singular memoir

by Caroline Baum

Allen & Unwin $32.99 pb, 384 pp, 9781760293970

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