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ShaunOK 'Book Addict'

Avid reader reading a mixture of crime fiction, chick lit, young adult, autobiographies and true crime. Looking to follow readers who actively read and review books I enjoy to read.

Penny Sweets and Cobbled Streets: My East End Childhood - Nanny Pat An absolute gem of a book. Nanny Pat has always been one of the best things about The Only Way Is Essex, I think she's fantastic and when I heard she had a book out I knew I had to read it. Especially as it's about something I've loved reading about since I was a child: war, evacuation and 'old' London. I've loved reading about the war ever since watching Goodnight Mister Tom in junior school and my creative writing at that time almost always concerned the war and evacuation. However war and evacuation is only a small part of Pat's book but it was still nice (for want of a better word) to read about it. Especially reading about balloons that hung above London to try and trap the planes, I've read many family saga books set around the war but have never heard of these balloons.

This wasn't like reading a book, it was almost like Nanny Pat was reading it aloud to you. You could certainly imagine her saying the words anyway. I'm sure most people lucky enough to know their grandparents when they were younger and growing up loved hearing their old stories about how they used to live, work etc. My grandparents are still telling me stories I haven't heard even now, 22 years after I was born and I love listening to them. Even the stories they've told me numerous times before. And that's what this book is like, sitting down with your nan and grandad and being told some fantastic stories about days gone by.

And some of the stories Pat has to tell are great. She mentioned the Kray twins in the book but is saving that for her next book! But she did tell some fantastic stories, such as her mother (and indeed a lot of people at that time) stealing sweets from the factory she worked in and hiding them in her turban so the people searching her didn't find them; about her evacuation and how she wasn't actually away that long till her mum brought her home; how she got sacked from her job for stealing perfume, echoing her mother's days at work; how they would 'steal' from roads so they could keep the fire burning in their homes (much like Alan Sugar described in What You See Is What You Get: My Autobiography; how she thought she was pregnant after her boyfriend kissed her and touched her bum and how, when her boyfriend couldn't make it home in bad weather her dad reluctantly let him stay in his bed, with him! So he could make sure no funny business went on.

An absolutely fantastic read. Nanny Pat is one of the best things to come out of TOWIE, and this book is a must read for anyone with an interest in reading about the old East End.