Ottawa Citizen

Memoir shelf

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IMAGINE THIS: GROWING UP WITH MY BROTHER JOHN LENNON By Julia Baird McArthur & Company, $29.95 While it may seem a stretch that the “true” story of John Lennon’s childhood has never been told — until now — it really hasn’t. But Julia Baird (born to Lennon’s mother, Julia), finally tells all in this moving memoir. And it’s not a pretty picture. Life held little joy for John and his sisters, Baird reveals in a story that recounts a painful, lonely childhood. John, she says, was removed from his mother at age five and sent to live with an aunt. But it was during visits to his mother he found the freedom to develop his musical talents. His mother was killed by a speeding car when John was just 17 (a fate that later befell their father, too), adding another layer of sadness to the life of an already emotionall­y fragile musical genius.

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