William Morrow Paperbacks
September 11, 2012 / ISBN: 0062204572
Nonfiction / Autobiography / Memoir
by Brenda Weeaks
autobiography is as intriguing as her published works. Her writing
voice is captivating, I was happily lost in her world and so sad
when it was over. Expect an autobiography full of personality and
current affairs of her time.
“I have remembered, I suppose, what I wanted to remember.”
Christie began her autobiography in 1950 and ended it when she was
75 years old. If you download the free recording at Audible you
will hear how she easily moves from subject to subject and has no
problem remembering things. Her grandson found the recorder and
tapes thirty years after she passed. He writes how sound of her
voice and the occasional “woof” of her dog on tape was
like being at Wallingford. I enjoyed hearing Christie’s voice
as she talks about her books and her life. Interestingly, she thought
of herself as a wife first and writer second. She wrote to buy things
and, later in life, wasn’t even aware of how much money she
“Agatha doesn’t like to parting with information.”
– a family joke about young Agatha
The book is set up in eleven parts.
with Ashfield (Part I) where life reads as a fairytale
-- Father’s American inheritance, servants and a nannie, famous
people visiting. Here is where Christie describes herself as a child
who contemplates her thoughts and feelings.
Part II (Girls and Boys Come Out to Play) Christies mentions
Father’s money problems and lack of occupational skills. She
mentions moving to Paris and shares more about her siblings, education
Up (Part III) Agatha shares how her world changed after
her father’s death (she was 11 years old). Despite the lack
of income, Mother traveled and Agatha went back to Paris.
Part IV (Flirting, Courting, Banns Up, Marriage) Mother
becomes ill so they travel to the dry climate of Egypt. Christie
talks of parties, dressing, and receiving a marriage proposal from
a boring Austrian count. Then she meets Archie.
V (War) Christie recounts England at war and how it changed
the World (Part VI) Christies shares her trip around the
world despite her mother and sister’s disappoint that she
chose a trip over her returning brother (injured in war).
VII (The Land of Lost Content) Christie shares more about
her siblings and their lives (oh, that Monty) as well as the end
of her first marriage.
Spring (Part VIII) is the start of a new life as a successful
writer and independent woman. She spends time in Baghdad.
And of course
Spring turns into Life With Max (Part IX) and what
I found interesting wasn’t that Max was younger but that Agatha’s
mother disapproved of the age difference and refused to come to
X (The second War) begins with Christie receiving a lesson
in spotting difference between a war craft and a hurricane on the
(Part XI) has Christie picking her autobiography back up
in 1965, years after the War. Max is in the Air Ministry. The
Mousetrap goes from radio to play with her grandson Mathew
as the owner of the serial rights. Readers will discover how generous
Agatha was with her serial rights – she loved making her family
happy. In the end, we see how much Agatha appreciated not only her
work, but her life – the good and the not so much……
Audio excerpt from audible