Powerful Memoirs by Powerful Women
These fierce tales
about the lives of women will leave you astonished—and ready to face
just about anything.
4 of 5
All at Sea
A British journalist
who describes herself as "immensely nosey and often quite prurient,"
Decca Aitkenhead found herself a focus of media attention when her partner,
Tony—an ebullient, charismatic reformed drug dealer—drowned
on vacation in Jamaica after rescuing their older son. Aitkenhead could easily
have written a maudlin memoir about how a liberal and a lowlife found each
other, how mixed-race Tony handily won over her shocked white middle-class
family, how his death made her strong. And there is, in truth, a whiff of that
sentimentality here. But Aitkenhead also owns up to being, like Tony, a
"class refugee" who made lots of mistakes, and still can't understand
her lack of panic when she saw him floundering. Other confessions border on the
risky, such as when she admits after his death that she was smitten with
"the celebrity of tragedy." Admittedly ambitious and self-serving,
Aitkenhead is also whip-smart and full of life. You may not love her, but you'd
jump at her party invitation—her company is that good.
— Cathy Medwick