I have fallen in love with Lady Annabel’s writing when I read her first book, a bigraphy called ‘Annabel: an unconventional life’ a few years ago. She is the daughter of the 8thMarquess Londonderry, who was married to Mark Birley & James Goldsmith and is the mother of a beautiful Jemima and eco conscious Zac.
Her new book ‘No invitation required-the Pelham cottage years’ talks of the place where she & her family lived for 20 years and her friends could turn up unannounced but be very welcome. The style of writing draws you in and you feel like it’s your grandmother or aunt telling you her life story, with self-depreciation and lots of detail. My particular favourites were the chapters on Lady Annabel’s housekeeper Mrs. White, her first cousin Patrick Plunket and broadcaster David Frost. But it is the last chapter, that is dedicated to her first-born son Rupert, who disappeared while swimming in the treacherous waters of Lome in West Africa and whose body was never recovered, that is the most heart-breaking in its honesty.
The book is only 177 pages long, so it wouldn’t linger on your bed-side table .)