“Agatha’s legacy is clearly her work, but I think there’s another legacy too that’s hiding in plain sight. Not only was Agatha Christie the most successful novelist of the twentieth century. She was also someone who redefined the rules for her social class and gender.”
I am used to reading memoirs, so I was a bit apprehensive in reading a biography again, especially because I have read some pretty dry ones over the years. But Lucy Worsley’s book about the bestselling writer is an intimate, satisfying read, with Worsley delving into the mysteries of Christie from childhood to after death, often tucking in her own well researched opinions.
“It’s been rightly said the greatest character Agatha Christie ever invented…was ‘Agatha Christie’.” Worsley unpacks the complex Christie throughout her many manifestations, whether it’s during her first marriage or her second marriage (which included stints at archaeological digs), as loving daughter or distant mother, or as collector of houses. Worsley’s treatment of Christie’s disappearance in 1926 is compassionate, suggesting that the writer may have been suffering from a condition called “dissociative fugue”.
Interwoven throughout the whole book is Christie’s journey as novelist. Whatever you may think about her books, she certainly left behind a legacy, including capturing the history of her current times in the pages of her mysteries and thrillers. Most of the murders penned in her pages were done by poison, informed by Christie’s time working at a hospital pharmacy during WWI.
True Confession: I have never read an Agatha Christie book. I decided to read this biography only because the blurb sounded so appealing. I definitely wasn’t disappointed to read about this complex writer, and I have been convinced to read a book or two of hers. First up, one of Christie’s most famous, “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd”.
Recommended to those who are fans, to writers curious about reading about other writers’ lives, and to those who want to read about a complex woman who flouted the social conventions of her day.
Shoe’s Seeds and Stories
@Copyright 2023 Linda Schueler