A luminous memoir of post-war childhood, adventure and loss on the banks of the Nile.
Inventory of a Life Mislaid follows Marina Warner’s penniless young mother Ilia as she leaves southern Italy in 1945 to travel alone to London. Her husband, an English colonel, is still away in the war in the East as she begins to learn how to be Mrs Esmond Warner and steps into the world of cricket and riding. Without prospect of work in a bleak, war-ravaged England, Esmond remembers the glorious ease of Cairo during his periods of leave from the desert campaign. There, the couple start a bookshop, a branch of W. H. Smith. But growing resistance to foreign interests, especially British, erupts in the 1952 uprising and the Cairo fire burns the city clean.
‘Wonderful – a brave, inventive, touching distillation of memory and imagination’ Jenny Uglow