"This deeply satisfying book is about time and history, inheritance and loss, both private and shared. It is a book of memory with a hard, bright edge. Why, asks Ruth Pierson, is memory so capricious? Where is the sense in what it loses, what it keeps, so much of the residue being painful to recall? Aide-mémoire richly layers past and present selves (strangers to one another, both imperfect), acute observation and challenging ideas, disillusionment and rapture. A restless, honest, anti-nostalgic book, it sings 'the holy mess of life' into vivid being."