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Monday, June 30, 2008

A Charmed Life: Growing Up in Macbeth's Castle

Campbell, Liza. A Charmed Life: Growing Up in Macbeth's Castle.

6 words: Charmed or cursed? Fairytale turns nightmare.

Well, of course, when I saw this autobiographical work about growing up in Cawdor Castle, I was unable to resist.

Liza Campbell recounts her family history, dwelling on the problems experienced by her father Hugh, the 25th Thane of Cawdor, and the impact of his behavior on immediate family members. Witty, dry, and exceptionally unsentimental, Campbell tells of Hugh's descent into alcohol, drugs, and sexual adventures that coincide with greater and greater instability, verbal abuse, and domestic violence at home.

Although a sorry tale of privilege abused, Campbell tells a compellingly readable and strangely entertaining tale of Hugh's decline and his family's attempts to survive his many betrayals.

Nonfiction. Autobiography/ Memoir. 2007. 321 pages.


  1. I heard about this once before and then forgot about it. It really sounds very interesting!

  2. That sounds great! I've missed your recommendations!

  3. You've been coming up with some really fresh and exciting stuff lately, Jenclair...way to go!

  4. Nicola - It really was interesting, and I enjoyed Campbell's style.

    Jordan - I know that Shakespeare's Thane of Cawdor was pure fiction, but the idea of Campbell living in that particular castle and being the daughter of the 25th Thane of Cawdor was irresistible!

    Bybee - It really has been a diverse group of books lately!

  5. Have not heard about this book at all before - sounds quite fascinating! I'm about to start a new book - a memoir as well. I don't read those too often but when they are good they are great reading aren't they?

  6. iliana - I've made an effort for the last two years to read more biographies and memoirs and have enjoyed most of them. Whose memoir are you going to be reading?

  7. I got this book from the library the same day I saw your review, and I've been reading it at bedtime. It's delightful - I'm all about the dysfunctional family memoirs. :)

  8. Jenny - Even the very rich have problems! Campbell is a skilled writer and can relate the dysfunction in a way that is unsentimental. I'm so glad you are enjoying it!