Surprised and excited to receive this for Christmas, I devoured it over the course of a less-than-successful ski trip.
Jane Hawking is a likeable enough author and central character, but I found myself increasingly frustrated at points when I wanted to yell at her to stand up for herself and her children, not least to her apparently self-obsessed and emotionally inept husband.
The trauma of her marriage ending is all too evident, and her hatred for the woman she blames all too clear – Elaine Mason is the only character referred to by her full name throughout, as if it has been recited with venom many times.
Somewhat inevitably, the book seemed biased – there is surely no way one woman could be quite so saintly and hard done by for so long without either gaining recognition or going utterly mad.
It wasn’t the easiest read; the key storyline was often cut into by explanations of Stephen’s work and her PhD in medieval Spanish, neither of which I had any particular interest in. This led to an already lengthy text becoming all the heavier. Her assessment of the psychology of disability and Stephen’s personal responses to it I found fascinating, and wish that this had been more developed upon, along with her attitude towards the NHS.
Interesting enough that I kept reading, but I was left feeling slightly disappointed in a woman I respected but found utterly frustrating.