WAIT FOR ME! - Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire
This poignant memoir by the youngest of the famed Mitford sisters (Nancy, Pamela, Unity, Diana, and Jessica) chronicles the 90 years of change and growth in her own life and in England's. For anyone who has enjoyed Nancy Mitford's hilarious novels of growing up Mitford, this memoir provides a point of reference by which to sift out the fantasy from the reality of the strange but utterly intriguing family therein portrayed. However, there is much more here than a different view on the common Mitford childhood. Deborah Mitford married at 21, raised a family, helped establish Chatsworth House as a viable country house open to the public, and mixed with many of the notables of the 20th century, including the Kennedy's. (Her husband's brother married Kathleen Kennedy, Jack's sister.) She tells her story with respect, humor, and honesty - an absorbing blend. Her courage informs the text though she never speaks of herself as courageous, but the way in which she relates the trials she faced is a lesson to those whiners among us. She comments on the books her other sisters, Diana and Jessica, wrote about the family, making me decide to read them as well.