Through stories and reminiscences, Simone Mansell Broome tells us – with humour, empathy and a light touch - about the people she encounters and the trials she overcomes.
Simone Mansell Broome left Tenby for Berkshire as a child, (the first of many moves), returning to Wales in 2007. ‘Falafels, some frogs and a ferret’ is her first memoir and it focusses on people and relationships, stories and reminiscences. It’s frivolous, serious, funny and sad – an easy read with a steely core.
The child is mother to the woman and the foibles, prejudices and frailties of one generation will surface, inevitably, in the next. Simone Mansell Broome was born in Tenby, grandchild to tenant farmers in Begelly, Pembrokeshire, first child of a man with a troubled relationship to his homeland and a hard-working, dynamic, intensely emotional Englishwoman. The memoir dips in and out of the Tenby of Simone's infancy and early childhood, a later childhood over the border, a turbulent adolescence and onwards into early motherhood.
This is not a purely chronological account. It does not wear its heart on its sleeve or dwell self-indulgently on the bad times. This is a series of surprising, mundane, moving and sympathetic vignettes of family life, of an education in school and in love, which seesaws like the playground and fairground rides she recalls from fun to fear, from sunshine to storms. The chapters are linked by the letter 'f'. It's a device to corral and make sense of a large database of life experience; it allows for switches in mood and style, for the reader to sample stories, memories, observations. Even at her most light-hearted moments, she is perceptive, empathetic. Even when quite dark episodes are alluded to, humour isn't very far away. A couple of the chapters and the revelations therein could startle or trouble the easily startled or easily troubled. All will strike a chord, whatever reminiscence the author is sharing.
Simone Mansell Broome www.SimoneMansellBroome.com
2024 poetry –‘Bracing’ , 2023 memoir - ‘Falafels, some frogs and a ferret’, 2023 poetry - ‘A cwtch in Kyrenia’
Falafels, some frogs and a ferret
A memoir that is frivolous, serious, funny and sad – an easy read with a steely core. Interesting and illuminating bite-sized stories of family life and human relationships, anecdotes and reminiscences.