By Leah Greenblatt
October 13, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT

Why Not Say What Happened?

B+
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  • Book

Born to great aristo-?bohemian privilege — ?her mother, the novelist and celebrated beauty Lady Caroline Blackwood, played muse and itinerant wife to painter Lucian Freud and poet laureate Robert Lowell, among others — brewery heiress Ivana Lowell also inherited a hefty share of the so-called Guinness curse. Why Not Say What Happened?, her recollections of sexual abuse, a disfiguring childhood accident, rampant neglect, and alcoholism — as well as her lifelong quest to discover her true paternity — could have made for grim reading, but Lowell’s writing remains conversational and refreshingly free of self-pity. B+

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