ARC Book Review | This Time Next Year We’ll be Laughing

Posted July 13, 2020 by TheNonbinaryLibrarian in book reviews / 0 Comments

Title: This Time Next Year We’ll be Laughing

Author: Jacqueline Winspear

Publisher: Soho Press

Published: 3 November 2020

Pages: 312

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I received an eARC from NetGalley and Library Journal in honor of Virtual Day of Dialog 2020 in exchange for an honest review.

To be upfront, I am not a fan of memoirs or autobiographies. There has to be a really great reason for me to want to read this genre. I’m not saying they shouldn’t be written or people shouldn’t read them, but there can be bias to wanting to show yourself in a good light; which is totally understandable.

So, why did I read this book? Especially considering I’ve never read any of Jacqueline Winspear’s book. Well, as stated above, I received this through NetGalley and Library Journal’s Day of Dialog. During this virtual conference, there was panels with the authors of upcoming books. I attended one, not really realizing it was centered around memoirs, until I was in it. I decided to stick with it.

I became fascinated with all three books by these women, including Jacqueline Winspear’s This Time Next Year We’ll be Laughing. She begins her story with her parents and continues on throughout her childhood Kent. Winspear reveals the joys and hardships of her family’s history. She discusses the tough topics of her grandfather’s shellshock, her mother’s evacuation from London during the Blitz. Along with her soft-spoken, animal lover dad, who was assigned to an explosives team during WWII, and the years her parents spent living with Romani Gypsies.

We are, all of us, products of our family mythology. Stories are not only passed down, but nestled in every cell.

This was an eye-opening book not only to this woman’s life but also to people’s lives post-WWII. Winspear is shockingly frank and deftly restrained as she reveals the family history in such a way that I felt like I was reading fiction at times instead of a memoir.

This actually made me want to read her Maisie Dobbs series, and I started listening to the first Maisie Dobbs on audiobook this past week.

One big draw for me in deciding to read this book was her title. She explained during the panel that her dad had this saying, “this time next year we’ll be laughing.” It was a mystical phrase said by Winspear’s dad. Through all the bad times we’re experiencing now, don’t worry, this time next year we’ll all still be here, clutching our sides, laughing.

Happy Reading Darlings!

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