All a books we should be reading in 2020



When Deborah Orr died during age 57 final year, tributes poured in for a warm, incisive, witty, stubborn writer. Orr’s post-mortem memoir, Motherwell: a girlhood is her final masterpiece: a tumultuous, scintillating tour by flourishing adult working-class in Motherwell, south-east of Glasgow, a daughter of John, a bureau worker, and Win – a strict, puzzling lady Orr battles to determine with. With steadfast probity and razor-sharp insights, a book mediates on what it means to ‘mother well’, scrutinising not only her mother’s parenting, though also her own. 

Beyond a retelling of ethereal patrimonial relations, Motherwell also provides educational amicable explanation on Britain. From a introduction of legislature homes to a power of Margaret Thatcher, to a miners’ strikes and a pierce divided from streaming in schools to mixed-ability education, Orr reflects on a impact any of these domestic decisions have had on people’s lives with clarity and eternal empathy. (DS)

January, Weidenfeld

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