Sunday, 16 April 2017

The Durrells of Corfu: What a Family, What Lives Well Lived

From India Knight's review of The Durrells of Corfu by Michael Haag in The Sunday Times today:

'Gerald Durrell once wrote that some people had a childhood that trailed behind them "like some sort of English ectoplasm". His, he said, trailed behind him "like a magic carpet". This was in great part due to his family’s time on Corfu, immortalised so vividly in My Family and Other Animals. Michael Haag’s delightful book, a sort of group biography, tells the story of that time, and of their life before. All the Durrells were "masters of fabulation", tremendous embellishers and exaggerators — though the kernel of their stories was always true — and Haag sorts out precisely what happened when, and to whom...

'The story of the Durrells is really a story about the nature of love and home. ... Haag adds sadness and depth to a story that is superficially golden and charming, and which never stops being so. There is so much lustre here that nothing can tarnish it; the complications and grievances only make you admire the Durrells more. What a family, and what lives well lived.'