Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Private John Lennon (Review)

This book was a product of a serendipitous find in the Music library in Gorgas. I have always loved the Beatles, especially John Lennon. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in John Lennon's life or involvement with the Beatles. What I loved most about this book is that it's written by Julia Baird, John's stepsister. The Private John Lennon portrays John as a brother, being a part of his Liverpool band, the Silver Beatles, and transforming into one of the most renowned bands in the history of music. I've been wanting to read about the history of the Beatles, particularly John Lennon, for some time, but haven't had the time. Most Beatles books I've seen in Barnes and Nobles resemble the length of War and Peace, and doesn't exactly fit into light reading. This book was only 300 pages, making it a breeze to finish in a week or two.

Now to the content- Julia Baird poured herself into this book. She uncovered many family secrets while working on this novel, and finally received some answers that were never given to her as a child. She re-opens the wound of dealing with the sudden death of her mother in her childhood years. Their mother introduced John to music, buying him his first guitar, which connected him to his lifeline. John was never able to live with his mother and two sisters, making their secret visits precious time. In the eyes of the government, Julia was deemed an unfit mother because she was living with a man she had not married, even though they had two daughters. John lived with the eldest sister, Mary "Mimi" Smith. Julia Baird reflects on childhood memories with her brother John, then shifts into the music scene and describes the first time she saw thousands of girls screaming out her brother's name at a Beatles concert. Once the three sibling grew into adults and pursued separate dreams, the sisters grew apart from John. Julia describes her attempts to reconnect with her brother. Once John moved to New York, he was unable to see his family in England, because he wouldn't be allowed back into the U.S. They communicated through telephone and sometimes letters until John's death. She also writes about her attempts to find her mother's second child, that was given up for adoption.

1 comment:

  1. "Julia" has always been one of my favorite Beatles songs. Thanks for reviewing this book - I am definitely going to check it out.