“We only ever see the second half of our parents’ lives, the downhill part.”
Tommy Watt was a jazz musician and arranger, whose dreams are quashed by a combination of his stubborn character, alcoholism and the rise of pop music in the late 1950’s/60’s. His wife Romany starts out as a successful actress and moves on to a career in journalism and broadcasting, travelling the world to interview Richard Burton and many other stars of the day. Their son is musician Ben Watt, known mainly for his success with his wife Tracey Thorn, as the duo Everything But The Girl.
This is a poignant tale that weaves stories of Ben Watts parents – Romany and Tom – and his own story of caring for them in later life and how this leads to a greater understanding of the complicated and disappointed lives they led.
This may seem like a tough read and in parts it is, but it is also full of life, love and humour and the strong characters of all the participants shine through.
As Ben Watt writes in the opening chapter, the parents
“…we see and judge every day have been shaped by experiences … which we have never known: the times they were hurt; the days they won; the times they compromised.”