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Love Child

Love Child

A Memoir of Family Lost and Found

  • reading group guide
• Inside a legendary American family: Allegra Huston was the third child of John Huston’s fourth wife, the beautiful ballet dancer Ricki Soma. In this graceful, penetrating memoir, Allegra takes us into the world of a child unmoored by her mother’s sudden death and sent on an odyssey which took her from John Huston’s fabulous estate in Ireland, to the American suburbs, to a hidden paradise in Mexico—and, at the side of her older sister Anjelica, into the hilltop retreats of Jack Nicholson, Ryan O’Neal, and Marlon Brando. Allegra paints a vivid, caring, and affecting portrait of her parents and the luminous circle of friends, acquaintances, lovers, and artists who were a part of family life. .

• A revelatory twist and family connection: At the age of twelve Allegra Huston discovered her biological father to be the British aristocrat and historian John Julius Norwich. Suffused with a quiet intensity of emotion, Love Child explores family secrets and family bonds, and the unreliable certainties of memory—and ends with an unexpected triumph..
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416551584 | 
  • April 2010
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Video

Author Allegra Huston Discusses Love Child

Allegra Huston's deeply moving memoir of her famous family, motherless childhood, and the extraordinary revelation that turned her world upside down.

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Love Child includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Allegra Huston. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

“This is your father.” With those words, Allegra Huston’s life changes forever: at age four, she joins the household of John Huston, acclaimed film director, actor, and estranged husband of Allegra’s late mother, recently killed in a car accident. Allegra slowly adapts to the vastness of her father’s Irish estate, with its frenetic orbit of efficient servants, starstruck flatterers, and concerned caretakers of this timid little English girl.

Soon Allegra’s life shifts again: she becomes an American, first living with her grandparents on Long Island and then with her father and stepmother in Los Angeles. Then another short sentence changes everything: “You were a child of love.” Allegra meets her biological father, a British lord named John Julius Norwich, who was her mother’s lover during her strained marriage to John Huston.

Increasingly benumbed and confused about her origins, Allegra clings to her older sister, Anjelica Huston, a rising star in Hollywood see more

About the Author

Allegra Huston
Photo Credit: Jeff Rayner

Allegra Huston

ALLEGRA HUSTON was born in London and raised in Ireland, Long Island, and Los Angeles. She has worked with Chatto & Windus publishers in London and Weidenfeld & Nicolson, where she was Editorial Director from 1990 to 1994. A freelance writer and editor for more than ten years, her work has appeared in The Times, the Independent, the Tatler, and Harper’s Bazaar (all in the UK), in French Vogue, and in the U.S. in People magazine, the Santa Fean, and Mothering. She lives in Taos, New Mexico, with her six-year-old son, Rafa, and his father, Cisco Guevara.

 

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