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Esther Freud was born in 1963 and lives in London. Her previous novels are Hideous Kinky, which was made into a film starring Kate Winslet, Peerless Flats, Gaglow and The Wild.
In this semi-autobiographical novel based on her own childhood, Freud (Summer at Gaglow), tells the story of Julia, a hippie mother traveling with her young daughters, Lucia and Bea, through North Africa in the 1960s. (The girls, true to their impish nature, love to use the words "hideous" and "kinky.") Events are described through the eyes of five-year-old Lucia, and therefore rely more intensely on sensations than on concrete details. This experiential quality translates well to audio in Freud's tenderly evocative reading. As the family travels from Tangier to Marrakech, by rail and sometimes hitchhiking, Lucia gives her child's-eye impressions of street performers, beggars and holy men. As audio, the telling is richly atmospheric and exotic, with a strong undercurrent of wistfulness that comes from a little girl always questioning her mother's actions. Based on the 1992 Pillar hardcover. (Apr.) FYI: A movie based on the book, directed by Gillies MacKinnon and starring Kate Winslet as Julia, recently opened in theaters. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.