All the Beggars Riding

All the Beggars Riding
Lucy Caldwell
Reviewed by Sally Hughes
Faber
Sun, 17/02/2013
9780571270552
£12.99

Lara is a carer who, when taking one of her patients to a creative writing class, is inspired to write both her own and her mother’s stories. 

Her husband, Lara's father, was a successful plastic surgeon working partly in Ireland during the Troubles, partly in London’s Harley Street. It is later revealed that he had maintained two lives - one based in Belfast with his wife and family, the other in Earl's Court, where Lara, her mother and her brother were a guilty secret only revealed by the his untimely death.

This is an extremely well-written and touching narrative revealing adult secrets through the eyes of child and a poignant story of love, suffering and self-deception.

“You can never know but you can understand”, Lara writes, and it is through her writing and re-evaluation of the past that she comes to terms with both her mother and herself.

 

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