Take Six Girls: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters

Laura Thompson

26002270

They were the Kardashians of their day. It seemed they could do nothing without stirring the press into a frenzy. Their political opinions were all over the map. One was a dedicated Nazi who fell in love with Hitler, one was a Fascist who spent time in prison for her beliefs, one was a communist who lived in America, one a best-selling novelist who used her family as inspiration, one lived out of the spotlight raising chickens, and one was a duchess with ties to the Kennedy clan. Together they were the Mitford sisters who charmed or enraged everyone who knew them.

The problem in writing about them today is making them relevant and writing a book about six different sisters without getting them jumbled in the reader’s head. It seems impossible, given the source material, that one could write a confusing and boring book about such strong personalities, but Laura Thompson succeeds. Her book also suffers by comparison with Mary S. Lovell’s coherent and well-written book The Sisters.

Thanks to Netgalley for an advance reader copy.