Reviewed by Louisa Nashir
All The Beggars Riding by Lucy Caldwell is a book of memoirs telling the story of 30 something Lara, a newly single care worker with a very trouble past which is having a huge impact on her future.
The first half of the book is from Lara’s point of view and she tells all about her childhood and growing up with an absent father.
Lara’s father is an in demand plastic surgeon and is rarely home so most of the time it’s Lara, her mother and her younger brother Alfie.
On the rare occasions her father is home Lara always seemed to love his visits and to the outsider you would think they were just a normal happy family – WRONG!
Later on in her life Lara discovers her father is actually married to another woman and they have children together. Lara is sworn to secrecy by her mother and life goes on but Lara rebels. A few years later Lara’s father dies and she goes off the rails in a big way, her father’s wife want nothing to do with her or the family and sell their beloved home forcing them to move into a fleapit home.
Throughout the book Lara’s story really makes you realise how tough life can be and Lara is determined to pick herself up no matter the cost.
The book is cleverly split in two, the 1st half is from Lara’s point of view and the second is how Lara images her mother’s life was as she really wasn’t close to her mother so has no real idea about how her mother and father met, any happy times and memories etc.
Definitely worth a read.
All the Beggars Riding is available to buy from Faber here.