Narrated By: Mary Portas
Duration: 6 hours and 49 minutes
What to expect
Young Mary Newton, born into a large Irish family in a small Watford semi, is always getting into trouble. When she isn’t choking back fits of giggles at Holy Communion or eating Chappie dog food for a bet, she’s accidentally setting fire to the local school. Mary is a trouble magnet. And, unlike her brothers, somehow she always gets caught…
Britain in the 1970s is a world where R. White's lemonade is drunk in secret, curry comes in a box marked Vesta and beanz meanz Heinz. In Mary’s family, money is scarce. Clothes are hand-me-downs, holidays are a church day out to Hastings and meals are variations on a potato theme. But these are good times and everything revolves around the force of nature that is Theresa, Mary’s mum.
When tragedy unexpectedly blows this world apart, a new chapter in Mary’s life opens up. She takes to the camp and glamour of Harrods window dressing like a duck to water, and Mary, Queen of Shops is born…
Autobiography: business & industry, Autobiography: general, Memoirs, Fashion & textiles
Listen to a sample
Absolutely fabulous... Colourful, camp and unexpectedly heart-rending, I loved it.
Her school stories are hilarious... a nostalgia-fest
Portas's memoir is witty, fascinating and, at times, sad but always compelling
Enormous fun, readable, nostalgic, poignant and authentic... Read it then give it to your daughter
Portas writes with wit and verve... The book has the narrative charm of Anita and Me or The Buddha of Suburbia; so when the darkness comes it's genuinely shocking. Shop Girl is a testament to survival. But most of all it is a love letter to her mother, Mary Flynn. Every joke, argument, cake baked, tenderness proffered, sings off the page. 'To my mum - How lucky was I getting you' is the book's dedication. And we are lucky to read it.