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Summary

Young Mary Newton, born into a large Irish family in a small Watford semi, is always getting into trouble. When she isn’t choking back fits of giggles at Holy Communion or eating Chappie dog food for a bet, she’s accidentally setting fire to the local school. Mary is a trouble magnet. And unlike her brothers, somehow she always gets caught....

Britain in the 1970s is a world where R. White's lemonade is drunk in secret, curry comes in a box marked "Vesta", and beanz meanz Heinz. In Mary’s family money is scarce. Clothes are hand-me-downs, holidays are a church day out to Hastings, and meals are variations on a potato theme. But these are good times, and everything revolves around the force of nature that is Theresa, Mary’s mum.

When tragedy unexpectedly blows this world apart, a new chapter in Mary’s life opens up. She takes to the camp and glamour of Harrods window dressing like a duck to water, and Mary, Queen of Shops is born....

©2015 M. Portas LLP (P)2015 Random House Audiobooks

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What members say

Average customer ratings

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing but I will buy the next!

What would have made Shop Girl better?

I was hoping for a biography virtually right up to date but it finished abruptly in her early twenties.

What could Mary Portas have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Nothing - it was a sincere story of her early life.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

She didn't - Mary gave a great performance.

Any additional comments?

Looking forward to the next instalment.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A story of tenacity in small chunks.

An autobiography written in unusual style, which took a little getting used to. A sparky child who had to grow up too quickly, but with a heart. A great trip down memory lane of 70s and 80s.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Shop Girl

Mary Portas reads her own story brilliantly. Honest, funny, and nostalgic. I absolutely loved it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous, when's the next instalment?

Mary Portas' story is interesting and inspiring. Lots of laughter and a few tears shed, her passion is clear as her childhood and early career comes to life. I can't wait for the next one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story about Mary

This was a great story. Really interesting to read about her early years. It's not often there is such detail about the formative years of someone successful so it's nice to hear. And I learned that Mary went to my school... a few years earlier though :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Poignant coming of age story

I heard Mary read this in snatches on Radio 4 and thus determined to hear it all. Having been brought up at much the same time I enjoyed the product references and description s of the current fashions almost as much as the poignant story of her childhood and adolescence.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great, funny to tragic and everything in between

I really enjoyed this. Amazing to find out such interesting things about Mary. Beautiful description and lovely accents. Loved the references to products in my childhood like Caramac bars and R White's lemonade.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Absolutely loved this. laugh out loud funny!

Well done to Mary Portas. Great story, beautifully written, hilariously narrated. Will be listening again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great story

This was a great biography really well written. I also enjoyed the narration Mary Portas is a natural unlike many authors who's narration sometimes spoils a good book. The story does not bring us up to the present so hope there will be another book in the future. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

What an amazing memory!

I can't remember but a few moments from my boyhood. Was very impressed how this talented, stylish and intelligent lady remembered so much, bring it all to life so well. Good times and not so good. Rather inspirational I think. Well read by the author - makes it all the more special.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful