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Anne Angelo

Sprig of White Heather and a Scottish Lass

A young woman leaves the Scottish Highlands, in search of a new life in France.

Sprig of White Heather and a Scottish Lass is a memoir by Anne Angelo about her life growing up in rural Scotland. This is the first volume of a two-part series and follows her journey from early childhood through to her mid-twenties. Angelo was born in 1913 in Invergordon, in the Scottish Highlands. Her father was an Italian mechanical engineer working in Scotland, and her mother was from a wealthy French family. They met at a motor car rally in Bordeaux, and were married a few weeks later after a short, whirlwind, romance. But when her mother’s family learn of her father’s intentions to live off his wife’s wealth, they cut her off from the family’s assets. The couple returned to Scotland and Angelo’s father became increasingly angry and bitter about their predicament. He was verbally and physically abusive towards his wife and children, and even tried to arrange a marriage for Angelo. Angelo takes a job as a governess for a wealthy widower in France to escape her father and to “become a new person”. She moves to Lille and experiences what life is like in the upper echelons of French society. But as another war looms in Europe, Angelo is forced to return back to Scotland.

Sprig of White Heather and a Scottish Lass is a captivating memoir by Anne Angelo, about her life growing up in the Scottish Highlands.  Written from her own manuscripts, this is an intriguing and heartfelt novel about one young woman’s fight to make a better life for herself. The book provides a fascinating insight into life as a young woman growing up in the early part of the 20th century, and the differences between life in rural Scotland and France. Angelo was physically and emotionally abused throughout her childhood, and experienced significant financial hardships, but she was never bitter about her father or her life. Ultimately, this is a story of empowerment and strength, as Angelo finds the courage to leave her family home and attempts to rebuild a new life for herself.

Readers can follow the rest of Anne Angelo’s journey in the second volume.

Star rating: 5 Stars

Summary: A heartfelt glimpse into the life of the author, and the experiences that shaped her formative years.

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