‘Where I am going has little beauty. No landscape to take the breath away, no cultural highlights of note, just a street of Victorian shops and houses to which I now know I undoubtedly belong.’
A compelling memoir of family secrets and personal discovery; characterful, rich and visceral as the East End itself.
Linda Wilkinson’s childhood was spent on the dusty, pungent workaday streets of Columbia Road. Sundays brought the flower market and visits to the pub with her flamboyant, ancient grandmother, who would seat Linda on the bar while she sang. Surrounded by poverty and love, eccentricity and endurance – in a borough of refugees, craftsmen, working men and the odd crook – Linda watched carefully and absorbed the secrets and frailties of the adults around her.
A career spent in haematology, specialising in the diagnosis of blood disorders, brought Linda hard against the limits of both science and her watchful self. She would have to come back home before she could begin again.
An extraordinary tale of belonging and awakening.
Read an extract: Columbia Road – sample chapters