We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781472284839

Price: £16.99

ON SALE: 18th August 2022

Genre: Biography & True Stories / Memoirs

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.

‘Vivid and compelling and so moving… Kit’s depiction of her parents’ dynamic is both painful and comforting to read’ Marian Keyes
From the award-winning author of MY NAME IS LEON comes a childhood memoir set to become a classic: stinging, warm-hearted, and true.

Kit de Waal grew up in a household of opposites and extremes. Her haphazard mother rarely cooked, forbade Christmas and birthdays, worked as a cleaner, nurse and childminder sometimes all at once and believed the world would end in 1975. Meanwhile, her father stuffed barrels full of goodies for his relatives in the Caribbean, cooked elaborate meals on a whim and splurged money they didn’t have on cars, suits and shoes fit for a prince. Both of her parents were waiting for paradise. It never came.

Caught between three worlds, Irish, Caribbean and British in 1960s Birmingham, Kit and her brothers and sisters knew all the words to the best songs, caught sticklebacks in jam jars and braved hunger and hellfire until they could all escape.

WITHOUT WARNING AND ONLY SOMETIMES is a story of an extraordinary childhood and how a girl who grew up in house where the Bible was the only book on offer went on to discover a love of reading that inspires her to this day.

Reviews

I loved it and couldn't put it down. Both joyous and heartbreaking, it captures an era and is also a beautiful tribute to sibling love, and a completely compelling story of how one girl became a reader
Cathy Rentzenbrink
A window into an extraordinary childhood, told with blistering wit, pathos and joy, I could not have loved this more. Kit takes you on a thrilling ride traversing her past filled with humour, faith, joy and dysfunction. I defy you not to lake it into your heart
Abi Morgan
I couldn't put this book down. Beautifully written and searingly honest. Eye-opening, funny and moving - the words fly off the page. I didn't want this book to end Kit de Waal is a natural born storyteller
Paul McVeigh
Kit's writing is beautiful - vivid and compelling, and so moving. Families are such a mix of joy and pain and Kit's depiction of her parents' dynamic was both painful and comforting to read. There's so much love, warmth and hope. I wanted to keep reading this book for ever
Marian Keyes
Warm, honest, perceptive and moving, and the very best kind of memoir, because not only does it tell you about someone else's life, it tells you about your own
Joanna Cannon