I've always been a huge admirer of Prue. I've watched her on every series of the Great British Menu and leafed through her cookery bibles in awe of what she has achieved. I was dying to read her autobiography, mainly because I'm a bit of a nosy parker and Iove to know what is going on behind closed doors.
If you're looking for a fairytale filled with beautifully crafted cakes and a well roasted bird, you are in the wrong place. Ring Delia. Prue does nothing to sell herself, but offers a totally candid account of her life.
She was a confident child from a loving and privileged family. She grew up in South Africa with few boundaries; something which possibly assisted her in adulthood. She grew from a mischief maker to a risk taker, and never looked back.
I found some parts of the book incredibly hard to read (cue tears on the plane to Stockholm...) but at the same time you have to admire how brutally honest she has been. She shares some of the most private parts of her life in a 'here I am - take me or leave me' fashion. Most novellists may struggle to come up with some of the stories she recounts. At times, her memoirs would not be out of place on the stage of Jeremy Kyle; accidental orgies, drugs, adoption, theft and an affair with her mother's best friend's husband...
Prue's life experiences have made her the successful woman she is today. Whether you agree with her actions or not, it's really interesting to see how her adventures moulded her life. Clearly at ease in her own skin, it seems now was a perfect time to share her story with the world.
This book is not for the faint hearted, but I get the sneaking suspicion that she intended to throw a cat amongst the pigeons with this one. In summary, Prue is painfully honest, not afraid to make mistakes (or admit to them) and for that reason she is a self made, successful woman.
Relish - My Life on a Plate by Prue Leith
Publisher: Quercus, 2012
Disclaimer: I reviewed this book because I am a nosy parker (cheese & tomata...) I received no payment from the publisher for doing so.
Read more about the authors at Quercus.