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The Six

The Lives of the Mitford Sisters

by Laura Thompson

The Six by Laura Thompson X
The Six by Laura Thompson
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  • Published Sep 2016
    480 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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There are currently 9 member reviews
for The Six
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  • Mary Jane D. (Arlington Heights, IL)
    Difficult Read
    I am sorry to say I cannot give The Six a positive review. Although I did not know much about the Mitford sisters I thought I would enjoy it because I am a big fan of Downton Abbey and according to author Laura Thompson the Mitfords represented " a variant strain of Downton Abbey Syndrome."

    I found the book very confusing and had a hard time keeping the sisters straight. It jumped from sister to sister and time frame to time frame and had fictional characters from books the sisters had written that were based on their family members interspersed throughout. I had to google each sister and read their biographies to make my reading of The Six easier.

    Although I know the book was thoroughly researched I think too many details were included that just made the book harder to get through. I almost found it a chore to read and finish it. The best part were the notes at the end that related what happened to each sister later in life.

    Unless you are knowledgeable about the Mitfords and the historical period I wouldn't recommend this book to the casual reader.
  • Virginia from Texas
    Submitted with regret
    I have just read the copy of The Six by Laura Thompson that I received under the First Impressions program of I am sorry to report that my impression is negative.

    As I begin, I must say in all fairness that in my opinion Laura Thompson took on a huge job when she attempted to write a biographical account of these six women in one book; but, even considering the enormity of the task, I am glad I did not spend my money to acquire the book. At the risk of sound presumptuous (because I have never even tried to do what she has done), I have two suggestions if she should try the same thing again.

    First, I would try to organize the content of the book in a more orderly manner. The book seemed to have been written and then thrown into a mixing bowl before being printed. After having completed my task of reading the book, I tried to go back and figure out what organizational pattern this book utilized and I could not do it.

    Second, at the risk of sounding like someone who has difficulty assimilating complex material, I usually had to relax for a bit after reading for a short period of time. I think this was because the sentences in the book rambled. This therefore prevented me from relaxing while I read despite the fact that I was just reading for pleasure. This circumstance bothered me. I may have felt differently if I had been involved in solving a puzzle to discover the secret of achieving peace on earth – under those circumstances, I would not have begrudged having to utilize a little effort. I will admit however that as I was trying to get my own thoughts in order before I began composing this review the thought did cross my mind that quite possibly I was just an American trying to undertake reading a thoroughly British book.

    In order to end this review on a somewhat positive note, I will say that having been introduced to the family by this book, I feel led to try to find out more about these fascinating people. It is almost astonishing that these six women ended up with such unique and diverse interests, character, and philosophies considering they were born of the same two parents and raised in the same family.
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