When death is dancing closer than you'd like, what becomes important? What do you need to tell your child? And how do you want to be remembered? A beautiful, tender, funny and poignant guide on how to really live, from a mother to her daughter.
Ella Ward comes from a long line of irrepressibly charming raconteurs, letter-writers, storytellers and people who 'quite like giving toasts at parties'. And so, a few years ago, when Ella was 36 years old, with a husband and a young daughter, and was told that she had a rare cancer and might die, she decided that death wasn't going to stand in the way of her mothering her child.
As Ella's treatment for her cancer began, she started drafting letters to her daughter. To tell her about life, love, death, the importance of cotton knickers and - above all - her family. The kind of people who weren't dissuaded by little things like cancer. Or war. Or loss. Or a charging elephant.
This is a story of what we inherit, and how we become ourselves. This is the story of a family - a glorious, funny, exotic and gutsy family - but it's really a story about how your attitude to life, can shape your life. A time-travelling memoir from one mother, and the generations that came before her - these are twenty-seven letters about the good, the bad, the magical and the whole damn thing.
Jaunty, brave, moving and immensely appealing, this is a gloriously endearing inspirational story in the tradition of Tuesdays with Morrie and The Last Lecture ... although with slightly more dry martinis.