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Five days gone : the mystery of my mother's…
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Five days gone : the mystery of my mother's disappearance as a child (udgave 2019)

af Laura Cumming, Kate Reading (Narrator.)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1094199,883 (3.39)17
INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER Acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Velazquez Laura Cumming shares the riveting story of her mother's mysterious kidnapping as a toddler in a small English coastal village--and how that event reverberated through her own family and her art for decades. In the fall of 1929, when Laura Cumming's mother was three years old, she was kidnapped from a beach on the Lincolnshire coast of England. There were no screams when she was taken, suggesting the culprit was someone familiar to her, and when she turned up again in a nearby village several days later, she was found in perfect health and happiness. No one was ever accused of a crime. The incident quickly faded from her memory, and her parents never discussed it. To the contrary, they deliberately hid it from her, and she did not learn of it for half a century. This was not the only secret her parents kept from her. For many years, while raising her in draconian isolation and protectiveness, they also hid the fact that she'd been adopted, and that shortly after the kidnapping, her name was changed from Grace to Betty. In Five Days Gone, Laura Cumming brilliantly unspools the tale of her mother's life and unravels the multiple mysteries at its core. Using photographs from the time, historical documents, and works of art, Cumming investigates this case of stolen identity with the toolset of a detective and the unique intimacy of a daughter trying to understand her family's past and its legacies. Compulsive, vivid, and profoundly touching, Five Days Gone is a masterful blend of memoir and history, an extraordinary personal narrative unlike any other.… (mere)
Medlem:EdRedmer
Titel:Five days gone : the mystery of my mother's disappearance as a child
Forfattere:Laura Cumming
Andre forfattere:Kate Reading (Narrator.)
Info:New York, NY : Simon & Schuster Audio, [2019]
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Five Days Gone: The Mystery of My Mother's Disappearance as a Child af Laura Cumming

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(4) This is a non-fiction account of one woman's investigation of her mother's kidnapping when her mother was a little girl. Her mom disappeared off the beach and was gone for 5 days before being found in mysterious circumstances. Later in life her mother finds out she was adopted but not much more. The author and her mother at times together and at times separately pursue the records and stories of those still living to try to piece together the truth. A compelling premise.

The execution however, was not as compelling. I did love the story and the author's description and inclusion of old photographs (though they are barely visible on a Kindle, had to switch to iPad app in order to truly enlarge and view which was tiresome.) The story really meandered and the musings on identity, truth, the Lincolnshire coast, Tennyson seemed overly verbose and melancholic at times. This book reminded me of some other memoir-type pieces that would have worked better as an essay/short story and felt a bit bloated as a novel. Every revelation had the drama wrung out of it ten-fold.

I am sounding overly negative perhaps because overall I enjoyed and found much of it fascinating. I am a huge fan of family secrets revealed in dusty old libraries and mysterious old pictures. So gothic. Some of the writing was also lovely and poignant. Non-fiction that reads like literary fiction. The closest comparisons I can think of are 'H is for Hawk' by Helen McDonald, and 'Between the World and Me' by Ta-Nehesi Coates. ( )
  jhowell | Jan 21, 2020 |
I saw this book advertised on Facebook, and it looked interesting, so I thought I would give it a try. For me, it never lived up to my expectations.
In the late 1920s, young Betty Elston was lured away from her mother on Chapel Sands, and later returned, unharmed to her family. She was clean, but dressed in different clothing. What Betty's daughter, Laura, discovers is that this was not a sinister kidnapping, but a return to Betty (Grace's) birth mother. It seems, that unbeknownst to Betty, she was born as Grace, and brought to live with her father and mother, George and Veda Elston. She grew up to believe that she had been adopted by George and Veda. However, as the story progresses, she was actually the child of George and Hilda, a young woman that George impregnated during an affair. Hilda and her family had taken Grace/Betty back for 5 days until she was returned. Betty never really talked about this, although her daughter, Laura, begged her to tell her story. She wrote a small snippet of her life for Laura.
Laura and her mother were able to research that Hilda had more children, and later in life, Betty/Grace and Laura got to meet them.
I had high hopes for this book, but I thought it was dry.
#FiveDaysGone #LauraCumming ( )
  rmarcin | Jan 16, 2020 |
"Photography gives us memories we hardly knew we had: the house where we were born, our infant selves, the embarrassing clothes we once wore. But the camera is also capable of giving us memories we cannot actually have because we were not there in the first place."

In 1929, the author's mother, Betty, disappeared from the beach near her home on the English coast. She was three years old. For five days no one could find her, leaving her adoptive parents frantic. This book is her daughter's effort to examine what was done and how it all unfolded as it all seemed to result in a life full of misery.

It's a beautiful book, filled with charming photographs and relevant artwork that I absolutely loved. And the mystery is carefully revealed through these pieces as well as letters and writings Betty contributed in the 1980s as she recalled certain events and people. It all comes together beautifully to unveil a life that could have been so different. Highly recommended.

This book is on the shortlist for the Baillie Gifford Prize for non-fiction writing, which I think will be awarded this week. Also on the shortlist, Furious Hours by Casey Cep, which I read earlier this year. ( )
  brenzi | Nov 19, 2019 |
3.5 A mother and daughter search for answers in this unusual memoir. Family, art and the quest for identity are major themes as a set of photographs are the impetus that leads the daughter to try to track down the mystery of her mother's life. A family story with a mystery at the heart as her mother was taken when she was three and returned a few days later. Who took her and why was she returned? Following the clues in the pictures, she finds out her mother, now called Betty, was once called Grace.
So who was she really?

This is a beautifully written but slowly unraveling story. The tone is wistful, almost haunting as information is discovered and new clues are revealed. Art is discussed, photographs are included, all leading to provide a picture of her mothers life. Although she knew her grandmother Vera, her grandfather was long dead. These were the people said to be her mother's, parents, the people whose past she learns much about and that helps lead to answers.

At time I got impatient with the slowness of the story, but then something interesting will be discovered, at just the right moment. Plus the outstanding prose kept me reading. The ending was simple, but just perfect and heartening.

"All around us our stories that cannot be squared or circled or turned into something so easily defined.
Death, after all , comes to interrupt any narrative that looks as if it might have the audacity to try and complete itself."

"Words and images . In life as in art we do not always see what is going on at the edges, or even the foreground, do not notice what seems irrelevant or superfluous to our needs and theories. Perception is guided by our own priorities."

ARC from Edelweiss. ( )
  Beamis12 | Oct 9, 2019 |
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INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER Acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Velazquez Laura Cumming shares the riveting story of her mother's mysterious kidnapping as a toddler in a small English coastal village--and how that event reverberated through her own family and her art for decades. In the fall of 1929, when Laura Cumming's mother was three years old, she was kidnapped from a beach on the Lincolnshire coast of England. There were no screams when she was taken, suggesting the culprit was someone familiar to her, and when she turned up again in a nearby village several days later, she was found in perfect health and happiness. No one was ever accused of a crime. The incident quickly faded from her memory, and her parents never discussed it. To the contrary, they deliberately hid it from her, and she did not learn of it for half a century. This was not the only secret her parents kept from her. For many years, while raising her in draconian isolation and protectiveness, they also hid the fact that she'd been adopted, and that shortly after the kidnapping, her name was changed from Grace to Betty. In Five Days Gone, Laura Cumming brilliantly unspools the tale of her mother's life and unravels the multiple mysteries at its core. Using photographs from the time, historical documents, and works of art, Cumming investigates this case of stolen identity with the toolset of a detective and the unique intimacy of a daughter trying to understand her family's past and its legacies. Compulsive, vivid, and profoundly touching, Five Days Gone is a masterful blend of memoir and history, an extraordinary personal narrative unlike any other.

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