Book Review: Time to Be in Earnest by P.D. James

You can’t say this is a true autobiography by P.D. James
because she decided to choose one year of her life to record.
She shares her 1997 diary pages with us.
The famous mystery writer . . .

kept me company for a few nights and it was pleasant reading.

Time to be in Earnest003









You can take three things away from the reading:

1. a successful writer, if she so pleases, can spend an inordinate
amount of time attending awards dinners, giving speeches, giving
lectures on writing, being knighted, being hosted in many countries
with complimentary hotel and meals.  And P.D. James does please
to do so and writes about each and every one.  (too much?)

2. a successful mystery writer spends a lot of time at her craft, and
can justify the experiences she writes of–because she  worked
in Civil and Health offices for many years.  She was a primary bread
winner supporting her two little daughters before she began to
write.  But the knowledge she gained  by working in the social
fields helped her enormously later on.

3. a writer has a personal life, too, of course.  The author was
married very happily and the mother of two little girls.  But
her husband became ill, and was no longer able to be at home
with them.  His parents stepped in to raise the girls.

The book is based in London and I enjoyed her descriptions of
traveling about (she does not drive.)  It almost becomes a
travel diary.

I found the personal memory parts to be the most interesting.
And they were augmented by plenty of photographs.

I think it is a book worth reading, but it is not a nail biter.

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