Cynthia Lennon was born in Blackpool, England, in 1939. While attending the Liverpool College of Art she met John Lennon. John and Cynthia married in 1962 and their son, Julian, was born in 1963. The Lennons were divorced in 1969. Cynthia retained custody of Julian, who saw his father sporadically until John was killed in 1980. In the years since, Cynthia has been a restaurateur, a designer, and a television personality. She now lives in Spain with her husband, Noel Charles.
Cynthia Lennon, John Lennon's oft-overlooked first wife, is so soft-spoken, her voice threatens to trail off at times. But Lennon's voice of experience taps a well of feeling no audio actor could truly access. From teenage love to Beatlemania to spiritual pursuits in India, Lennon successfully conveys the excitement and trauma of an intimate life with one of pop culture's most cherished figures. She also uncorks opinions on rival Yoko Ono, often in bitter tones. This straight-from-the-horse's-mouth narrative is lovingly introduced by Julian, Cynthia and John's only child, and should capture the imagination of even the most casual fan. It's disappointing that Random House decided on an abridgment since this is a never-before-heard take on a well-worn subject. The production is capped off with a brief, artificial-sounding author interview with wooden questions and Lennon's rehearsed answers. But fans of Lennon and the Beatles, as well as those interested in 1960s and 1970s popular culture, should find this a satisfying, albeit abbreviated, listen. Simultaneous release with the Crown hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 17). (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Lennon gives her perspective on the Beatles, Yoko Ono, and famous ex-husband, John. A heartfelt introduction, written and read by their son, Julian, reveals that he is understandably conflicted about his father's appalling behavior toward both him and his mom. The author is candid about John's family history and the verbal abuse he suffered from his terrifying Aunt Mimi. She details the whirlwind events that led to the Beatles becoming arguably the chief pop culture icons of the latter half of the 20th century. Her justifiable dislike of Ono is vivid and backed up by a number of events, which, if even partly true, certainly correspond with the controlling image Ono has in the history of the Fab Four. Rosalyn Landor's pacing is excellent, and she is especially good at sounding like the young, na?ve Cynthia. By the end, one feels disillusioned about John and impatient with his lifelong lack of sense regarding spouses, disgusted with Ono, and most compassionate toward Julian. Suitable for YAs, but mostly for adults in public libraries.-B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Memorial Lib., Sag Harbor, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
"Lennon's eyewitness testimony vividly captures the time and place
and the characters . . . her portrait of John is loving but
candid." -Washington Post
"A welcome window into a period that's typically narrated at breakneck pace, [providing] a gentle reminder that John Lennon was a human being . . . before he was a piece of history." -Detroit Free Press
"[Cynthia Lennon's] portrait reveals an immensely talented and driven man who was capable of great passion, affection, and loyalty, but whose inability to handle confrontation and tendency toward flight from painful realities led him to abandon his family when the going got tough." -Buffalo News