• Ayres gives a wonderful account of what it was like to grow up poor but respectable in post-war rural England. Some of her writing in the early chapters, describing life as the youngest of six children in a council cottage in the Vale of White Horse, Berkshire, has the original freshness of classics such as Flora Thompson's Lark Rise to Candleford

    Kathryn Hughes, Mail on Sunday
  • I find her work sweet and sour, gentle and sad, and often very moving in its wistful way ... The descriptions of post-war Berkshire life in The Necessary Aptitude are wonderful ... The world Ayres evokes is Hardy's Wessex ... I do admire (and envy) this marvellous woman

    Roger Lewis, Daily Mail
  • Excellent ... Unsentimental, especially about herself, Ayres gives a surprisingly moving account of what it was like to grow up poor in rural England without any "aptitude" for making something of herself

    Kathryn Hughes, Christmas Guide to a Cracking Read, Mail on Sunday
  • Highly readable ... Pam's memoirs are a masterclass in effective and effervescent prose

    The Lady
  • An evocation of long-gone village life as captivating as Thompson’s Lark Rise to Candleford. At the book’s height, she reaches up and touches Laurie Lee

    Buckinghamshire Life

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