Tuesday, 25 May 2010

East End Tales by Gilda O'Neill

East End Tales (Quick Reads)Gilda O'Neill was born in London's East End. Her nan had a pie and mash shop and her grandfather was a tug skipper. You might think Gilda's childhood was one of pub knees-ups and legendary criminals - but that is just half the story.
Inside East End Tales, Gilda reveals what the true East End was like - not the place of myth and legend. Stories of hardship and upheaval rub shoulders with those of kindness, pride, courage and humour.

The author has combined her own memories with those of other people who lived in the same area of London in the 1950s. I loved that the memories told in the book are about lives of ordinary people, and it really made me think about how much things have changed, and what we take for granted these days.
The book was really interesting and fun to read, also because the book is less than 100 pages long, I read it in one sitting. Reading this book reminded me of listening to my grandparents telling me stories of their youth. It has that nostalgic feel to it.
The only thing that did grate on me a bit is the way the author would write her own memories and then say something like "here is what a man said about that" followed by a quote. It just seemed a bit odd and I think she could have integrated the other people's stories a bit better.

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