Anne Robinson's mother was a cross between Robert Maxwell and Mother Teresa. When Anne became a young reporter in Fleet Street, her mother, a wealthy market trader, bought her a mink coat and told her to have a facial once a month. But Anne Robinson's early success almost ended in her destruction. A doomed marriage was followed by a secret custody battle for her two-year-old daughter, Emma. 'Is it true?' her husband's barrister demanded in court, 'you once said you'd rather cover the Vietnam War than vacuum the sitting room?' A shocking, funny, poignant and honest account of three generations of women: Anne's formidable mother, Anne and her daughter Emma. Memoirs of an Unfit Mother tells of Anne's downfall, the shame of the years after the custody battle and her subsequent alcoholism. And the triumph of returning to take a second go at life. And making it work.
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(197mm x 127mm x 22mm)
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Anne Robinson is probably best known as the resident dominatrix of television game show The Weakest Link. Her long, difficult and relatively distinguished career as a journalist takes second place to an assumed persona that hides a history of failed relationships, personal pain and loss - and an addiction to alcohol that almost killed her. Growing up a good Catholic girl with a charismatic but domineering mother, Robinson's early career success as a reporter left her unprepared for any kind of failure. A desperately unsuccessful first marriage left her ripe for conversion to hopeless drunk and lost her custody of her two-year-old daughter, Emma. In these days before feminism, the courts seem more concerned about Robinson's career ambition than about her drinking, her solicitor tries to bed her and Emma's care is eventually entrusted to her equally ambitious journalist father. The most affecting part of the book concerns her struggle to drag herself out of addiction, though there is much more to the book than an inspirational real-life tale. Its scope stretches across three generations, from the life of her outrageous powerhouse of a mother, through Robinson's own chequered history, to the blossoming movie industry career of grown-up Emma. It also has much to say on the women's issues that touched upon this lifelong journalist's career - from the rise and fall of Margaret Thatcher to the unhappy marriage and eventual death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Stylistically, the book reads like a newspaper column. Tightly written - sometimes too tightly - its slick journalese is an odd vehicle for confessions of pain and vulnerability and can make the reader feel manipulated into a preordained response. Nevertheless, it's both an absorbing read and an intriguing slice of 20th-century social history. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Anne Robinson
Famous newspaper columnist. The first woman regularly to edit a national newspaper. Watchdog more than doubled its audience after Anne Robinson joined it, getting sit-com ratings. The Weakest Link attracted the largest number of daytime viewers in the history of television.