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  • Published: 18 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9780091940492
  • Imprint: Ebury Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • RRP: $19.99

The Necessary Aptitude

A Memoir



The Sunday Times bestseller - a beautifully written memoir by Pam Ayres, one of Britain's most-loved personalities

‘I never once attended a Sunday morning church service in Stanford. There was always the feeling that they weren’t aimed at families like ours.’ Pam Ayres was the sixth child in a hard-up family who lived in a council house, her parents’ generation were harrowed by the war. Yet they lived by the green in the village of Stanford in the Vale, where everything you needed was within walking distance and the sound of motorcars was rarely heard. Then reaching her teens, Pam realised how few opportunities she had. At fifteen she started working for the civil service, and for a social life she had the local ‘hop’. Pam knew she had to reach out for more, and sought it first in the WRAF. But it was some time before she discovered the unique talent that would make her one of Britain’s best-loved comics … Containing Pam’s much-loved combination of humour and poignancy, The Necessary Aptitude is a beautifully written memoir of growing up in the country in post-war Berkshire.

  • Published: 18 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9780091940492
  • Imprint: Ebury Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Pam Ayres

Pam Ayres has been a writer, broadcaster and entertainer for over 40 years. She is the author of several bestselling poetry books, including The Works, Surgically Enhanced, You Made Me Late Again! and The Last Hedgehog. Pam’s autobiography, The Necessary Aptitude, was a bestseller when it was published in 2011.

On radio she is a regular on Just A Minute, has made six series of her own Ayres On The Air and has appeared twice on the legendary Desert Island Discs.

Pam performs her solo stage show throughout the UK and lives in the Cotswolds, where she is an enthusiastic gardener for wildlife.

Also by Pam Ayres

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Praise for The Necessary Aptitude

Ayres gives a wonderful account of what it was like to grow up poor but respectable in post-war rural England. Some of her writing in the early chapters, describing life as the youngest of six children in a council cottage in the Vale of White Horse, Berkshire, has the original freshness of classics such as Flora Thompson's Lark Rise to Candleford

Kathryn Hughes, Mail on Sunday

I find her work sweet and sour, gentle and sad, and often very moving in its wistful way ... The descriptions of post-war Berkshire life in The Necessary Aptitude are wonderful ... The world Ayres evokes is Hardy's Wessex ... I do admire (and envy) this marvellous woman

Roger Lewis, Daily Mail

Excellent ... Unsentimental, especially about herself, Ayres gives a surprisingly moving account of what it was like to grow up poor in rural England without any "aptitude" for making something of herself

Kathryn Hughes, Christmas Guide to a Cracking Read, Mail on Sunday

Highly readable ... Pam's memoirs are a masterclass in effective and effervescent prose

The Lady

An evocation of long-gone village life as captivating as Thompson’s Lark Rise to Candleford. At the book’s height, she reaches up and touches Laurie Lee

Buckinghamshire Life

As funny and benevolent a memoir as you’d expect from one of Britain’s finest comic

Good Book Guide

It’s all so well written, so funny and so touching

Readers' Digest

Charming

Choice

Ayres gives a wonderful account of what it was like to grow up poor but respectable in post-war rural England. Some of her writing in the early chapters, describing life as the youngest of six children in a council cottage in the Vale of White Horse, Berkshire, has the original freshness of classics such as Flora Thompson's Lark Rise to Candleford

Kathryn Hughes, Mail on Sunday

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