The Great Western Beach is Emma Smith's wonderfully atmospheric memoir of a 1920s childhood in Newquay, Cornwall.
She recalls the rocks, the sea, the beaches, the picnics, the teas and pasties, the bracing walks, the tennis tournaments and bathing parties, the curious residents and fascinating holiday-makers - relishing every glorious, salty detail.
But above all this is a portrait of a family from the astonishingly clear-eyed perspective of a nine-year-old girl: her furious, frustrated father, perpetually on his way to becoming a world famous artist but suffering the indignity of being a lowly bank clerk; her beautiful, unperceptive mother, made for better things perhaps but at least, with three fiances killed in the Great War, married with children at last; the twins, fearless, defiant Pam and sickly, bewildered Jim, for whom life is always an uphill climb, and baby Harvey, brought on the same winds of change that mean that life, with all its complication and wonder, cannot stay still and the Cornish playground of Emma's childhood will one day be lost forever.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 384 pages, Illustrations, ports.
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- Publication Date: 01/06/2009
- Category: Autobiography: general
- ISBN: 9780747596615