2008 2009 Memoirs Richard and Judy Book Club

Fathers and Sons – Richard Madeley

I love Richard and Judy, as you’ve probably already guessed from the number of Richard and Judy books I’ve read! For those of you who don’t know, Richard and Judy are the UK equivalent of Oprah and have been on our screens for over 20 years now. I have been a fan ever since I was a child, and since the launch of their book club in 2006 I have read the majority of the books they’ve suggested.

Fathers and Sons is the true story of Richard’s family. Richard’s entertaining, chatty interview style transfers well to paper, and I connected well with all the people in the book. The book begins with the fascinating story of Richard’s Grandfather, who as a child woke one morning to discover that his parents had emigrated to Canada without him. The anecdotes were touching, at times almost unbelievable, and written with great skill and passion.

I found the more modern section of the book much less interesting, although this may be because I already knew most of it’s contents from being an avid viewer of their shows and from reading Richard and Judy: The Autobiography. Richard is clearly a skilled writer though, and I hope that he writes more books in the future.

Fathers and Sons is essential reading for all fans of Richard and Judy, but even if you aren’t a fan the first section about Richard’s Grandfather is fascinating.


I have read very few memoirs, but am beginning to think that this needs to change.

Can you recommend some good ones for me to start with?

2008 Memoirs Richard and Judy Book Club

The Bolter – Frances Osbourne

The Bolter is a non-fiction biography of Idina Sackville, a woman who scandalised 1920s society by marrying five times and having numerous love affairs.

Idina had a really interesting life, but this book fails to capture the essence of the woman. The writing is quite dry, and at times very boring. I think this book would have benefited from being written as a piece of historical fiction, so that some life could be breathed into each of the characters. I would have loved to have had a greater insight into the thoughts and feelings of Idina, instead of a list of two-dimensional people she met.

The reader also¬†wasn’t credited with much intelligence, and I found myself being irritated by over-explanation of many things. I think the worst offender was this:

“He hadn’t seen him for five months, almost half a year.”

Overall, I was very disappointed by this book. The back cover makes it sound so interesting, but ultimately it failed to live up to my expectations.