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“Jacqueline Winspear has created a memoir of her English childhood that is every bit as engaging as her Maisie Dobbs novels, just as rich in character and detail, history and humanity. Her writing is lovely, elegant and welcoming.”—Anne Lamott
The New York Times bestselling author of the Maisie Dobbs series offers a deeply personal memoir of her family’s resilience in the face of war and privation.
After sixteen novels, Jacqueline Winspear has taken the bold step of turning to memoir, revealing the hardships and joys of her family history. Both shockingly frank and deftly restrained, her story tackles the difficult, poignant, and fascinating family accounts of her paternal grandfather’s shellshock; her mother’s evacuation from London during the Blitz; her soft-spoken animal-loving father’s torturous assignment to an explosives team during WWII; her parents’ years living with Romany Gypsies; and Winspear’s own childhood picking hops and fruit on farms in rural Kent, capturing her ties to the land and her dream of being a writer at its very inception.
An eye-opening and heartfelt portrayal of a post-War England we rarely see, This Time Next Year We’ll Be Laughing chronicles a childhood in the English countryside, of working class indomitability and family secrets, of artistic inspiration and the price of memory.
About the Author
Jacqueline Winspear was born and raised in Kent, England. After graduating from the University of London’s Institute of Education, she worked in academic publishing, higher education, and marketing communications. She emigrated to the United States in 1990. She has written fifteen novels in the New York Times bestselling Maisie Dobbs series, which has won numerous awards, including the Agatha, Macavity, and Alex. Her standalone novel about the Great War, The Care and Management of Lies, was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. She lives in California.
Praise for This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing
“Jacqueline Winspear has created a memoir of her English childhood that is every bit as engaging as her Maisie Dobbs novels, just as rich in character and detail, history and humanity. Her writing is lovely, elegant and welcoming.”
—Anne Lamott, New York Times bestselling author of Almost Everything: Notes on Hope
"Jacqueline Winspear's memoir takes the reader through the early and adolescent years of the author's life as well as the history of her parents' young marriage in a fashion that is simultaneously endearing, touching, amusing, heartfelt, and astonishing . . . It's a love letter and a beautiful work of gratitude toward the people and the place that made the author what and who she is."
—Elizabeth George, New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Lynley novels
"A beautifully rendered, elegant work of literary architecture joining the present to the past. Jacqueline Winspear's memoir of an English country childhood is also an homage to the remarkable parents whose choices and outlooks shaped her. Their stories of hardship and gratitude became hers, and hers became this unforgettable book."
—Hope Edelman, New York Times bestselling author of Motherless Daughters and The Aftergrief
"This is a memoir both evocative and unflinching. Without a trace of self-pity, Jacqueline Winspear portrays a childhood of rural poverty overcome by hard manual labor, lifelong love amid emotional wounds, and a profound understanding of how 'the gift of place' creates meaning . . . An illuminating portrait of a time and place that is as optimistic as it is deeply moving."
—Sally Bedell Smith, author of Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life
"[Winspear's] words are hopeful and bright, and imbued with a resilience that will resonate with readers . . . The book will appeal well beyond Winspear’s fan base as a literary memoir deeply linked to history and as a meditation on place and family."
—Library Journal, Starred Review
"[Winspear] draws distinctive portraits of postwar England, altogether different from the U.S., where she has since settled, and her unsettling struggles within the rigid British class system. An engaging childhood memoir and a deeply affectionate tribute to the author’s parents."
—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
Praise for Maisie Dobbs
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
Agatha Award Winner for Best First Novel
Macavity Award Winner for Best First Novel
Alex Award Winner
“Compelling . . . powerful. [Maisie Dobbs] testifies to the enduring allure of the traditional mystery . . . even though I knew what was coming this second time 'round, its final scene is still a punch in the gut.”
—Maureen Corrigan for NPR’s Fresh Air
"[A] deft debut novel . . . Romantic readers sensing a story-within-a-story won't be disappointed. But first they must be prepared to be astonished at the sensitivity and wisdom with which Maisie resolves her first professional assignment."
—The New York Times
"The reader familiar with Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency . . . might think of Maisie Dobbs as its British counterpart . . . [Winspear] has created a winning character about whom readers will want to read more."
"[Maisie Dobbs] catches the sorrow of a lost generation in the character of one exceptional woman."
"One of the best and most influential crime novels of the young century."
—Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
“A fine new sleuth for the twenty-first century. Simultaneously self-reliant and vulnerable, Maisie isn't a character I'll easily forget.”
—Elizabeth George, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of the Inspector Lynley series
“The book is much more than a cosy mystery—it is also about women's growing emancipation and the profound changes to society after the First World War.”
—Mail on Sunday
“A delightful mix of mystery, war story and romance set in WWI–era England . . . A refreshing heroine, appealing secondary characters and an absorbing plot [make Winspear a] writer to watch.”
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“A poignant and compelling story . . . [Winspear handles] human drama with compassionate sensitivity while skillfully avoiding cloying sentimentality. At the end, the reader is left yearning for more. Highly recommended.”
—Library Journal, Starred Review