Deborah Devonshire was the youngest and last-surviving of the Mitford sisters I read about in the book Sisters by Mary S. Lovett. That caused an interesting discussion on the All-nonfiction reading group so I pursued it a bit by delving into this memoir. (Other group members watched movies or read other books.)
Wait For Me:
Memoirs of the Youngest Mitford Sister
By Deborah Devonshire
Read by Anne Flosnik: 14h 17m
Rating: C / biography
I read it because in addition to the discussion it also kept catching my eye somewhere – on Audible, maybe.
Anyway, as I said, Wait for Me is the story of the life of “Deborah Vivien Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, DCVO (born Deborah Vivien Freeman-Mitford” – aka Debo to the family. The book is so entitled because as a child that was her phrase as she ran to keep up with her sisters, Nancy, Pamela, Diana, Unity, and Jessica.
There are parts which are fascinating and parts which are boring. I actually fell asleep a few times while reading it. Anyway,
Publisher’s Summary (from Audible):
Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire, is the youngest of the famously witty brood that includes the writers Jessica and Nancy, who wrote when Deborah was born, “How disgusting of the poor darling to go and be a girl.” Deborah’s effervescent memoir Wait for Me! chronicles her remarkable life, from an eccentric but happy childhood in the Oxfordshire countryside, to tea with Adolf Hitler and her controversially political sister Unity in 1937, to her marriage to the second son of the Duke of Devonshire. Her life would change utterly with his unexpected inheritance of the title and vast estates after the wartime death of his brother, who had married Kick Kennedy, the beloved sister of John F. Kennedy. Her friendship with that family would last through triumph and tragedy.
With its intense warmth and charm, Wait for Me! is a unique portrait of an age and an unprecedented look at the rhythms of life inside one of the great aristocratic families of England. It is irresistible listening and will join the shelf of Mitford classics to delight audiences for years to come.
Yes, the book is quite warm and charming. Debo lived quite a long time and did a lot of interesting things. Her focus here seemed to be on architecture and home design as she lived in a number of homes. There are two appendices which sound like they were taken from her diaries. She loved the Kennedy’s and her sisters who were mostly just as famous for their novels and memoirs and associations and politics. I was very interested for a time, but it wore off. My interest seems to (or seemed to) be in the Mitford sisters as a group.