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Agatha Christie; An Autobiography
Agatha Christie

William Morrow Paperbacks
September 11, 2012 / ISBN: 0062204572
Nonfiction / Autobiography / Memoir

Reviewed by Brenda Weeaks

Christie’s 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.” –Agatha Christie

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 had.

“Agatha doesn’t like to parting with information.” – a family joke about young Agatha

The book is set up in eleven parts.

Christie begins 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.

In 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 and arts.

Growing 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.

In 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.

Part V (War) Christie recounts England at war and how it changed both her.

In Round 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).

In Part 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.

Second 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 the wedding.

Part X (The second War) begins with Christie receiving a lesson in spotting difference between a war craft and a hurricane on the horizon.

Autumn (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……

Free Audio excerpt from audible

Reviewed 2012