THE WAY THINGS HAPPEN: A Memoir by Ingaret Giffard
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THE WAY THINGS HAPPEN: A Memoir

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Writing under her maiden name, Lady van der Post (wife of Sir Laurens) offers a contemplative tale of her lengthy coming of age as a woman, writer, and determined seeker of truth. Born in England, Giffard was the first of two children belonging to an emotionally fragile upper-class mother and a barrister father who died when she was six. Impoverished by the father's carelessly written will, the family shuttled back and forth on lengthy ""visits"" to relatives and friends while Giffard, an unusually independent young girl, took over the role of caretaker from her frequently ill and emotionally debilitated mother. As a child, Giffard dreamed of becoming a barister; but when her mother married a British officer, she agreed to abandon her studies and accompany the two to India. Four years later, she returned to England to begin a moderately successful career as an actress and writer. After marrying and enduring a brief stint with her new husband in the Sudan, Giffard found herself increasingly alienated from her life as a businessman's wife. World War II ended; Giffard and her husband amicably divorced; and soon after she married Sir Laurens van der Post. Inspired and intrigued by her mother's improved mental health under Jungian therapy, Giffard convinced her husband to move with her to Switzerland, where the couple befriended Carl Jung and others among his inner circle--and where Giffard at last began to find the meaning in life for which she had searched since childhood. Emboldened by self-knowledge, she returned to England to write and work as a lay Jungian analyst. As a child, she felt that life was a game of blindman's bluff, and that she was always moving forward blindfolded. Here, she removes the blindfold, offering up some captivating reflections collected over a long and relentlessly examined life. A lovely, illuminating memoir, graced with elegance and style.

Pub Date: May 22nd, 1990
Publisher: Morrow