On Chapel Sands: My mother and other missing persons (Paperback)
  • On Chapel Sands: My mother and other missing persons (Paperback)
  • On Chapel Sands: My mother and other missing persons (Paperback)
zoom
On Chapel Sands: My mother and other missing persons (Paperback)

On Chapel Sands: My mother and other missing persons (Paperback)

(author)
£9.99 £7.99
Paperback 320 Pages / Published: 02/04/2020
  • Save £2.00
  • 10+ in stock

Available

  • This item has been added to your basket
Your local Waterstones may have stock of this item. Please check by using Click & Collect
Waterstones Says

Shortlisted for both the Rathbones Folio Prize and the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, Laura Cumming’s singular memoir was one of the most critically acclaimed books of 2019. A deeply moving story of family and community that is striking and unforgettable, On Chapel Sands is part-true crime narrative, part-investigation into the subjectivity of memory and part-witness to a vanishing provincial way of life.

Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award 2019

Waterstones Non-Fiction Book of the Month for April 2020

Shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2020

Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize 2019

Uncovering the mystery of her mother's disappearance as a child: Laura Cumming, prize-winning author and art critic, takes a closer look at her family story.

In the autumn of 1929, a small child was kidnapped from a Lincolnshire beach. Five agonising days went by before she was found in a nearby village. The child remembered nothing of these events and nobody ever spoke of them at home.

It was another fifty years before she even learned of the kidnap. The girl became an artist and had a daughter, art writer Laura Cumming. Cumming grew up enthralled by her mother's strange tales of life in a seaside hamlet of the 1930s, and of the secrets and lies perpetuated by a whole community.

So many puzzles remained to be solved. Cumming began with a few criss-crossing lives in this fraction of English coast - the postman, the grocer, the elusive baker - but soon her search spread right out across the globe as she discovered just how many lives were affected by what happened that day on the beach - including her own.

On Chapel Sands is a book of mystery and memoir. Two narratives run through it: the mother's childhood tale; and Cumming's own pursuit of the truth. Humble objects light up the story: a pie dish, a carved box, an old Vick's jar. Letters, tickets, recipe books, even the particular slant of a copperplate hand give vital clues. And pictures of all kinds, from paintings to photographs, open up like doors to the truth.

Above all, Cumming discovers how to look more closely at the family album - with its curious gaps and missing persons - finding crucial answers, captured in plain sight at the click of a shutter.

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9781784708634
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 277 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 129 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

‘Currently Waterstones nonfiction book of the month, this is a scrupulous work of storytelling, radiant with profound empathy and filial affection.’ - The Guardian

‘The real story of the book isn’t how she was taken from Chapel Sands, but what was taken from her: the truth about who her parents were and why she was adopted; the reason a woman approached her in her teens and said: “Your grandmother wants to see you,” when the only grandmother she had known was dead.’ - The Guardian

'A deeply felt, forensic yet ultimately empathetic examination of human motivation and its attendant sorrows, which is as much a social history of the early 20th century as it is a story of one family and its secrets. Her intermeshing of art, time and memory is superlative.' - The Telegraph

‘The book, is a series of revelations, one twist the reader might foresee early on, but most come out of the blue… the book is a love letter to her mother.’ - The Guardian

'On Chapel Sands is much more than a search for truth. It is a moving, many-sided human story of great depth and tenderness, and a revelation of how art enriches life. In short, a masterpiece.’ - The Sunday Times

'An absolute masterpiece. A book bursting with love - love lost and love found, love misunderstood, unsaid and denied. I was spellbound by Laura Cumming's warm, intelligent, searching voice and her intense scrutiny of images to reveal the unexpected and make us think again. I am in complete awe. A beguilingly lovely book - as big as the sea' - Keggie Carew, author of Dadland

'This utterly enthralling family memoir draws you into a mystery from the childhood of the author's mother... spellbinding... [Cumming] has also woven in photographs and artworks, which beautifully illuminate and complement the narrative' - Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller

Laura Cumming on On Chapel Sands

Description

Laura Cuming shares one of the family photographs that proved crucial in unearthing more about her family history and her mother's disappearance.

You may also be interested in...

A Promised Land
Added to basket
£35.00   £17.50
Hardback
One of the Family
Added to basket
£20.00   £16.99
Hardback
What Does Jeremy Think?
Added to basket
£25.00   £21.99
Hardback
Motherwell
Added to basket
£9.99   £7.99
Paperback
Behind the Mask
Added to basket
£20.00
Hardback
Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day
Added to basket
£20.00   £17.99
Hardback
Lady in Waiting
Added to basket
£9.99   £7.99
Paperback
Everything I Know About Love
Added to basket
£8.99   £7.49
Paperback
Three Women
Added to basket
£9.99   £7.99
Paperback
Educated
Added to basket
£9.99   £8.49
Paperback
Unspoken
Added to basket
£14.99
Paperback
Just as I Am
Added to basket
£20.00   £16.99
Hardback
English Pastoral
Added to basket
£20.00   £17.99
Hardback
Breathtaking
Added to basket
£16.99   £14.99
Hardback
Adventures Of The Yorkshire Shepherdess
Added to basket
Bessie Smith
Added to basket
£9.99   £7.99
Paperback
All the Young Men
Added to basket
Tall Tales and Wee Stories
Added to basket
£8.99   £7.49
Paperback

“Fascinating Book.”

This is a fascinating story. A true story told by Laura Cumming the author, as she tries to unravel the mystery surrounding her mother's past.
In 1929 a mother and small child enjoy an afternoon on a beach,... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 54

“A fascinating family mystery”

All families have their stories and Laura Cumming knew that her mother had disappeared for 5 days when she was a young girl. But nobody had ever spoken of the details of her kidnap, who had been responsible or why.... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 39

“Intriguing”

This is a fascinating story. The events depicted are built around the real life events of her mother’s early life. It is a slow read and at times disjointed but this reflects the unraveling of this complicated... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 37

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.