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Summary

Sue Johnston always seemed to be disappointing her mother. As a girl she never stayed clean and tidy like her cousins. As she grew older, she spent all her piano lesson money on drinks for her mates down the pub, and when she discovered the Cavern she was never at home. The final straw was when Sue left her steady job at a St Helens factory to try her hand at that unsteadiest of jobs: acting.

Yet when Sue was bringing up her own child alone, her mother was always there to help. And playing her much-loved characters Sheila Grant and Barbara Royle – although her mum wouldn’t say she was proud as such, she certainly seemed to approve. And in her mother’s final months, it was Sue she needed by her side.

The relationship with your mother is perhaps the most precious and fraught of any woman’s life. When she began writing, Sue set out to record ‘all the big things, and all the small things. Everything I wanted to tell my mother but felt I never could’. The result is a warm, poignant and often very funny memoir by one of Britain’s favourite actresses.

©2011 Sue Johnston (P)2011 Random House Audio Go

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Honest and Entertaining

I heard Sue in various interviews discussing her book and I was not disappointed by it. (Unlike Ricky Tomlinson's) Her style is just as she is and her tales are warm and well told.
I would thoroughly recommend this book.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Catherine
  • Knaresborough, United Kingdom
  • 12-04-12

Fantastic autobiography

I am a huge fan of Sue Johnston and she is an exceptional actress who has been in many of my favourite television and film dramas. This autobiography is sensitively written, moving and honest; Sue clearly had the same insecurities and tensions in family relationships that we all have. I cannot recommend this highly enough - I listened to it twice in a row in my car on the way to work .

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

My best walking partner

I was given an MP3 player and my first Audible credit as a birthday present over a year ago, with a view to enhancing my daily (well - fortnightly) walks to attain more fitness. I have to say that as I walk up and down the steep hills of Hastings (much more frequently now), this honest, warm, and most down to earth account of Sue Johnston's life has given me wings. I literally haven't been aware of whether I'm climbing a hill or not - it's a wonderful listen. I liked Sue Johnston's appearances in The Royle Family and Waking the Dead before this download, but having been given insights into many facets of her life and of her personality, I feel the greatest respect and warmth towards her. It doesn't ooze sentiment in any way, as it's understated and narrated by the author with gentle, self-effacing humour. Those who remember Brookside will be fascinated by the accounts of her time there, with Ricky Tomlinson as her screen husband - I never watched Brookside but it didn't spoil my enjoyment of that area of her life story.
During her life, Sue Johnston has become friends with many famous people including The Beatles, as she grew up in Liverpool and frequented the Cavern.These and many other celebrities are included in the narrative only because they are part of the author's story and who she is today - it doesn't become tiresome as when names are 'dropped' in other people's less powerful autobiographies. I bought this also as a paperback for my mother - who unfortunately doesn't have the technology to download the audiobook - and although she had to miss out on the excellent reading by the author, she loved it and was hooked by the first page. This is one story that has uplifted and warmed me and one that , rarely for me, I look forward to revisiting.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A bit too much of the sad dilutes the happy.

What could Sue Johnston have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

It's rather difficult being constructively critical of an autobiography, you can hardly hope the author had had a different life.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Maybe it is because I have had similar experiences with aging parents prior to their death, but this story does seem to labour the moribund aspects of coping with a dementia sufferer; bring back sad memories and tears running down my face. Not for Sue, but for the healing emotional wounds she has reopened.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susie S
  • Cornwall, United Kingdom
  • 19-08-12

My first Audio Book

This was the first Audio book I have listened to. It It was great to have Sue chatting to me while I caught up on my ironing and did some 'sifting and sorting out stuff' for several weekends! Her style is very natural, honest and down to earth. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad and sometimes joyful - this audio story kept my mind completely occupied while I got on with mundane tasks! I enjoyed it very much.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • p
  • tewkesbury, United Kingdom
  • 24-06-12

lovely lady

i loved this book as i have always like Sue and was intrested in her this book didnt let me down such i nice read .

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Going back home

I loved the book it took me back to my early life in both Warrington and liverpool . Sue is a brilliant actress and her description of following her dream and being a single mum were so real.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A FANTASTIC listen<br />

Always great when autobiographies are read by the person. More authentic with turn of phrase.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best books

I have always loved Sue Johnston, this autobiography is one of the best I have read. at times I was crying with laughter and particularly near the end I simply cried following the sad story of her mother. Highly recommend this book to anyone

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Very interesting read!

Read beautifully by the author herself Sue Johnston. From start to finish it was an interesting read with a great insight into her life and with honesty as to how her and her mother's relationship made her feel. Sad moments as well as funny throughout including little secrets during filming of the royal family etc that viewers wouldn't know about but can now see or imagine happening if watched again. Yes definitely worth a listen .