A Charmed Life: Growing up in Macbeth’s Castle, Liza Campbell

Recommended by: A Garden Carried in the Pocket, who always seems to read such interesting books, that lucky duck.

I am very, very fond of dysfunctional family memoirs.  Or crazy people memoirs are also fine too.  Both types of memoirs make me feel grateful for my own lovely family, which is not at all dysfunctional and handles crazy extremely well.  So I enjoyed this, and it was also an interesting insight into the ways of the toffs.  (Cause I’m all lower-middle-class American South girl.)  When I started reading it, I thought that Liza Campbell didn’t compare well to people like, I don’t know, Catherine Gildiner who wrote Too Close to the Falls – but as I went on, her writing style grew on me.

Her father was the twenty-fifth Thane of Cawdor, and he was much with The Crazy.  He became convinced his mother-in-law was a witch, a real witch, and he put scissors all over the place in Cawdor Castle as counter-hexes, to protect himself.  (This is a minor incident in the book – it was just one of those moments of Crazy that made me pause and say a little thank-you prayer to the Lord for my mental health.)  Oh, and I also learned that apparently in France the second twin out is considered to be the older twin.  Because of being conceived first is the notion.  And all about the proper etiquette if you shoot someone when you’re out hunting.  (I won’t make a Dick Cheney joke about that.)

Like most of these memoirs about The Crazy, this was interesting and sometimes funny and also really, really sad and a little creepy.  I obligingly passed it on to my mother, and I’m sure my little sister – also a fan of books about Crazy – will be in line to read it too, since I kept distracting her from Sunshine yesterday night by reading her bits of A Charmed Life.

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3 thoughts on “A Charmed Life: Growing up in Macbeth’s Castle, Liza Campbell

  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the book! Didn’t you wonder why Campbell’s mother put up with it for so long? I found the information about the French twins interesting, too. And all of the kids seemed to successful in spite of the chaotic family life the endured.

  2. Yeah, I was impressed with how well the kids appeared to have held each other together. Though in fairness, I’m sure she said a lot less about her siblings – for their privacy – than she could have…

  3. Pingback: Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library, Don BorchertI « Jenny’s Books

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