I turned to look at Rosie. She was yellow and dusty with buttercups and seemed to be purring in the gloom; her hair was rich as a wild bee’s nest and her eyes were full of stings. I did not know what to do about her, nor did I know what not to do. She looked smooth and precious, a thing of unplumbable mysteries, and perilous as quicksand.
At all times wonderfully evocative and poignant, Cider with Rosie is a charming memoir of Laurie Lee's youth in a remote Gloucestershire village, a world that he makes tangibly real even as it's now in a distant past. Abandoned by her husband, Laurie's adoring mother becomes the centre of his world as she struggles to raise a family against the backdrop of the Great War.
The sophisticated adult author's retrospective commentary on events is endearingly juxtaposed with that of the innocent, spotty youth, permanently prone to tears and self-absorption.
Cider with Rosie became an instant bestseller when it was published in 1959, selling over six million copies in the UK alone, and continues to be read all over the world.