A Daughter's Tale : The Memoir of Winston and Clementine Churchill's Youngest Child Paperback
by Mary Soames
At ninety years old, Mary Soames is the only surviving child of Winston and Clementine Churchill.
A Daughter's Tale follows her early life from her idyllic childhood in her own 'Garden of Eden' at Chartwell to her ATS service in mixed anti-aircraft batteries during the war.
With glimpses into her fascinating personal diary, published here for the first time, she draws us into a world where the experiences of a packed family, social and romantic life unfold against a background of cataclysmic events.
When Chamberlain's declaration of war in 1939 shatters Mary's world, she begins to share the anxieties and stresses suffered by her family through her father's position.
The mutual love between Mary and her parents is evident on every page, from her Chartwell years to Winston's defeat at the 1945 general election, when she recounts her own devastation on her father's behalf.
As she meets her future husband Christopher Soames at the end of this charming memoir, it is clear that, at twenty-four, Mary has lived a full life and is well prepared for her future as wife and mother.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 560 pages, Illustrations, ports.
- Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
- Publication Date: 27/09/2012
- Category: Autobiography: general
- ISBN: 9780552770927
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Review by VivienneR
Mary Soames, born in 1922, is the only surviving child of Winston and Clementine Churchill. This memoir covers her early life and the war years, up to the defeat of Churchill's government in the 1945 election. Her father, normally shown as a gruff, serious statesman is portrayed here as a tender affectionate family man. Soames' interest in the times and the events that had such a profound effect on so many makes her point of view an interesting one. She is able to provide an intimate background to events that are familiar to history and the entire memoir is written from a very different perspective than the more formal accounts we usually see. As an gunner in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, she accompanied her father as his ADC on several overseas journeys, including the Quebec Conference with President Roosevelt and Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King, and the Potsdam Conference with Truman and Stalin. Although this is essentially Mary Churchill's story, it naturally involves the life and times of her parents, particularly her father. Much of the text is taken from Soames' diaries giving it a refreshingly youthful tone and a family intimacy that makes it all the more interesting. I really enjoyed this charming memoir and can recommend it highly to anyone interested in the subject.