Better Broken Than New by Lisa St Aubin de Teran review from bank robber's bride to best young novelist
Briefly

Lisa St Aubin de Teran's memoir, Better Broken Than New, is a captivating and chaotic narrative that details a lifetime of adventures and misadventures. From cheating death to cooking for a cannibal, the author's experiences are incredibly unique and often seem incidental compared to the defining dramas of her life. These defining dramas include kidnapping her own five-year-old daughter and living under police protection, as well as fending off home invaders with a hunting knife in her 60s. The memoir also delves into St Aubin de Teran's unconventional beginnings, with her parents meeting in a mental hospital and her mother crediting her with saving her life.
Cheating death thanks to a premonition, cooking for a cannibal and surviving the apparently murderous ministrations of a racist maternity nurse: along with infidelities and estrangements, these startling occurrences become almost incidental in a volume whose defining dramas run to kidnapping her own five-year-old daughter and then living under police protection, and fighting off a homicidal gang of home invaders with a hunting knife in her 60s.
Growing up in a shabby flat in Clapham, south London, St Aubin de Teran's childhood was marked by financial struggles but an abundance of books. She eventually changed her surname from Carew to St Aubin, reflecting her family's Jersey roots. The memoir offers a glimpse into a life filled with unpredictable twists and turns, where the author's creativity is fueled by her extraordinary experiences. Overall, St Aubin de Teran's memoir is a captivating and unconventional read that showcases her resilience and ability to endure the most challenging of circumstances.
Her beginnings, we learn, were fittingly unconventional. She was conceived in a mental hospital where her beloved mother, Joanna, a three-time divorcee and enduring romantic, was being treated for suicidal depression; her father, Guyanese writer Jan Carew, was seeking help for what was then termed pseudoneurotic schizophrenia.
Read at www.theguardian.com
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