We review Mother Anguish, the latest novel by Basia Briggs who’s fascinating saga of a troubled life is a summer must-read

Words Pendle Harte

We review Mother Anguish by Basia Briggs, the latest summer must-read

Basia Briggs – a London socialite of Polish origin – has published an autobiography outlining her eventful life. Born in Surrey to Polish parents who had married in Germany, Briggs’ story traces her journey from Chelsea childhood to teenage society girl, with a string of surrogate fathers and a volatile mother, a marriage to (and divorce from) an alcoholic in Australia and her current 30-year marriage to a builder-turned property developer. The story takes in the royal family and lots of Belgravia characters as well as the Hyde Park Riding Stables (owned by Basia and her husband) but also features a lot of relationship dysfunction, addiction and death. Still, it ends positively as Briggs says: “Since my return to Sloane Square and fashionable society, my days have been filled with much glamour and delight. I seem to be invited everywhere that matters and am regularly surrounded by university-educated people of high rank and position who stimulate my mind and my sense of humour.’ It’s a fascinating saga of a troubled life.

£20, quartetbooks.co.uk

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