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Motherwell: A Girlhood

Deborah Orr

7 Reviews

Rated 0

Memoirs

A stunning literary memoir about the author's relationship with her complicated mother and childhood for fans of WHY BE HAPPY WHEN YOU COULD BE NORMAL?

'Raw, compelling, wise and tender' Dolly Alderton

'MOTHERWELL is razor-sharp, fearless and wonderful' Adam Kay

'Utterly unflinching and staggeringly good, both as the history of a woman and the history of a place' India Knight

Just shy of 18, Deborah Orr left Motherwell - the town she both loved and hated - to go to university. It was a decision her mother railed against from the moment the idea was raised. Win had very little agency in the world, every choice was determined by the men in her life. And strangely, she wanted the same for her daughter. Attending university wasn't for the likes of the Orr family. Worse still, it would mean leaving Win behind - and Win wanted Deborah with her at all times, rather like she wanted her arm with her at all times. But while she managed to escape, Deborah's severing from her family was only superficial. She continued to travel back to Motherwell, fantasizing about the day that Win might come to accept her as good enough. Though of course it was never meant to be.

MOTHERWELL is a sharp, candid and often humorous memoir about the long shadow that can be cast when the core relationship in your life compromises every effort you make to become an individual. It is about what we inherit - the good and the very bad - and how a deeper understanding of the place and people you have come from can bring you towards redemption.

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Praise for Motherwell: A Girlhood

  • Raw, compelling, wise and tender

  • MOTHERWELL is razor-sharp, fearless and wonderful

  • Utterly unflinching and staggeringly good, both as the history of a woman and the history of a place

  • A fierce and tender reckoning: personal, political, and blazing with truth

  • A poignant, beautiful and all-too-topical memoir. With the skill, delicacy and sharp wit her many fans know and love, Deborah Orr tells her tale of childhood: of class and mobility, of self-love and self-loathing, of dissatisfied mother and clever daughter, and of the dangerous, complex sacrifices which opportunity demands from a girl on the move in the late twentieth century. Are you a mother? Do/did you have a mother? Read it

  • If you have or had a difficult mother this is the book for you. Difficult doesn't have to mean abusive. You can have a happy childhood with a mother who drives you mad

  • Honest, at times harsh, but also deeply tender and very funny - this is a beautifully written memoir. It's my generation so evoked many unwanted memories including the three-day-week, boiled to death veg and masturbating skinheads. A great read for 'Common People' like me

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Deborah Orr

Deborah Orr was an award-winning journalist, whose work regularly appeared in the GUARDIAN, the INDEPENDENT, THE SUNDAY TIMES and in many magazines including VOGUE, GRAZIA and MARIE CLAIRE. She was a contributing editor to ANOTHER MAGAZINE and was the first female editor of the GUARDIAN's Weekend Magazine at the age of thirty. Deborah was a co-creator of 'Enquirer', a play commissioned by the National Theatre of Scotland, performed in London, Glasgow and Belfast, broadcast by Radio 4 and shortlisted for new play of the year in the Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland.

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