A note on Hayley Mills’ ‘Forever Young: A Memoir’

I had to get it of course. Her films are my childhood. But a little more cheekiness would have made for a better book. It’s too Pollyanna-ish, overly determined to see the good in everybody, excessively kind, and so determined to see everybody’s point-of-view that it takes the shine off the extraordinary people she met – none were Saints –and the extraordinary circumstances she lived through…. Her father’s solicitor mishandles the trust set up for her movie money and she ends up having to hand over 91 % of it to the government when she turns 21, and this on already pre-taxed income; ie like so many other child stars she ends up with nothing. But she can’t bring herself to sue because the solicitor’s an old friend of the family. And this is before the ‘spiritual journey’ bit, at which point I almost gave up. It only takes us to the birth of her first child at 28 so I hope she learns to wink before she starts on the sequel.

José Arroyo

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