Last night saw the launch of Darling Baby Mine by John de St. Jorre at Daunt Books in Marylebone High Street. Here is the short address I made to an enthusiastic gathering to celebrate its publication.
Ladies and gentleman, I have the privilege today of making this short address about a book which, when I read it first in manuscript form, I was totally moved by it especially at a time when my dear wife of sixty years suddenly died in February of this year.
So I am now proud to publish Darling Baby Mine by John de St. Jorre, because the love between a mother and her son – which the book takes as its subject – opened my eyes to something I had not experienced before. My own son, until this day, cannot get over the loss of his mother and I’m afraid that although the passage of time might eventually ease the pain, it may not banish it.
As the author of this book has found, the bond between a mother and her son is truly unbreakable. Yet in this highly charged memoir, the author’s father takes him away from his mother during World War Two and it’s as if his mother never existed.
But he had a secret: a childhood memory of a young woman smoking and laughing. He has no proof, but he believes that woman to be his mother. Guarding his secret as jealousy as his father protected his own, he did nothing for many years, cowed by the family’s code of silence and the repressive social climate of the time.
However, this changed dramatically when his father died – it is then that the author sets off in search of his mother. What he found is heartbreaking to say the least. You must read his story for he alone will be able to show you that a mother is the most precious human being a son can have.
This memoir has been acclaimed by a host of people who saw it before its publication. I am confident that this moving chronicle of the author’s search for his mother will bring tears to your eyes and will instil in you a compelling determination to help this gem of a book reach a wider audience than usual. So here is your chance to purchase a few copies and give it to friends in the hope that they too will do the same. Your generosity of spirit and the parting of some of your money will be much appreciated. Thank you.