14,635 book reviews and counting...

Inventory of a Life Mislaid Reviews

Inventory of a Life Mislaid by Marina Warner

Inventory of a Life Mislaid: An Unreliable Memoir

Marina Warner

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: William Collins
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 4 Mar 2021
ISBN: 9780008347581

A luminous memoir of post-war childhood, adventure and loss on the banks of the Nile. 'Wonderful - a brave, inventive, touching distillation of memory and imagination' JENNY UGLOW

4 stars out of 5
Anthony Sattin
24 Apr 2021

"This brave, painful, dazzling memoir is riveting."

More than André Aciman’s memoir, Warner’s girl’s-eye view takes us on a journey to understand her childhood, the nature of her parents’ relationship and the way one might have lived a lifetime ago. At one point, perhaps frustrated by the challenges of understanding and ordering her family’s story, she complains: ‘The past won’t shape itself into a page-turning story, not for me.’ She is wrong. This brave, painful, dazzling memoir is riveting.



5 stars out of 5
24 Mar 2021

"poignant and mythical"

Marina Warner, writer, historian and scholar of fairy tales, turns her attention to one of her own: her parents’ marriage in Italy in 1944 and her childhood in 1950s Egypt. Warner’s Italian mother, Ilia – beautiful, poor – is the new wife of a colonel, who moves the family to Cairo. But the fairy tale isn’t what it seems: from Ilia’s notebooks, Warner learns of the anguish that marked her late mother’s life. This memoir, built of letters, journal entries and photographs, is poignant and mythical.