Review: Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee

Genre: Memoir
Year of publication: 1959
No. in series: 1 of 3
Setting & time: The Cotsworlds, England, 1910’s and 20’s

In this book, Lee lovingly describes his early life in the small village of Slad, in thematic chapters that cover different aspects of his childhood and upbringing.

This memoir had been languishing in one of my TBR bookcases for much too long when I finally decided to read it. It had been repeatedly recommended to me by people who knew I liked to read biographies, and I would like to thank them for it, because in it I have found a new addition to my “perennial reads” list.

This is a wonderful and often funny account of a somewhat unconventional upbringing in a small village that in many ways seems to have been like a close-knit family. It is beautifully written and often poetic, but still always remains down to earth. It’s sweetly nostalgic and can with some justification be called a prose-poem in remembrance of a simpler time gone by.

It was fortunately written too long ago to have any of the mis-lit flavour that seems to be so popular in modern biographies, even though had he been so inclined, Lee could have found plenty of material for such a memoir.
5+ stars. A keeper.


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