This is a book the majority, if not all, parents would do well to read. It clearly, and uncompromisingly, depicts how a parent’s behaviour may impact on their off-spring for life.
Lucinda Clarke is an excellent author whose writing carries the reader along with ease. She incorporates: humour along with distress; emotions with thoughts; clear headedness with uncertainty and so on. Her writing is so smooth there are occasions when the reader may be surprised by how many years have passed in the tale though there are occasional references to age which help establish chronology.
In essence this is an autobiography, though many follow the modern trend to refer to such works as a memoir. Nevertheless, this book encompasses, in chronological order, a substantial proportion of the authors life.
The tale commences with Lucinda as a very young child. There is the amusing yet sad account of how at three years of age she packs her little suitcase and leaves home. This opens up the underlying river of emotions, abuse (mostly mental) and self-doubt that underpins the whole story and most of Lucinda Clarke’s life.
The reader is presented with clear insight into the author’s battle to get away from home; to escape from abuse; to be her own person; to obtain further education from the places of her choice; to get to know the opposite sex. Then there is her marriage to a man who would prove unreliable and dishonest but whom she loved. The author’s life subsequently takes a path that would lead to many adventures; wealth; poverty; civil unrest; etc., most of which occur in a variety of different African countries where her husband initially found employment. But then comes a time when she has to fend for herself and her daughters in countries that hold women in low regard. This is where her remarkable abilities come to the fore and, despite the years of being, and consequently feeling, undermined, she discovers abilities that surprise not only her but also the reader. She truly draws the reader into the tale with her excellent writing. The reader feels with Lucinda; the joy of success; the fear of destitution; the fear of homelessness; concern for her children; how to make ends meet; the turmoil of deciding what action would be for the best. And all of this is without any of the support that should have been hers. No doubt, many readers will have lived through difficult times themselves. Nevertheless, the majority have probably taken for granted there will be some support from relatives, friends etc. but this was not the case for Lucinda.
Lucinda Clarke is indeed an excellent writer; the style, flow and accuracy really do carry the reader through with ease and comfort without detracting from the intenseness of the dramatic moments.
Five stars (5*)
Note: Some readers may recognise the book title but not the cover, which was changed to the one seen here a little while ago. Be assured it is still the same book just packaged differently.
Walking Over Eggshells is available in paperback and as an e-book.
1 November 2019: This memoir has rightly received a number of awards. A list of them may be viewed here.