Review published on March 27, 2017.
I freely admit that this is a very dated book now, it having been published in 1978 and written by a certain Cynthia Twist (second marriage), who is probably better known as Cynthia Lennon. It is a quick read for most about her life and the extraordinary set of circumstances that befell her after she met the late John Winston Lennon of ‘The Beatles’ fame.
Many readers of this review will quite possibly have never heard of Beatlemania, the phenomenon that swept the world during the 1960s concerning four Liverpudlian lads who hit the really big time with their classic style of ‘pop’ music. Cynthia was there throughout the entire period. She married John Lennon before they got so big, and she experienced the changes of fortune, self- absorption, drugs, drink, the madness, the scariness of living the life of a Beatle’s wife, as well as the ultimate, but slow realisation of her dwindling relationship.
Remarkable in her candour, honesty and revelations, this book exposes how a normal, practical girl fell in love with another poorly sighted person such as herself at Art School. The entire culture back then was different to today, the boy meets girl normality was both expected and pursued. The lads go off to Germany to perform regularly at a nightclub. Cynthia visits, she returns home, and eventually finds herself pregnant. The band eventually come home to Liverpool, appear at the famous ‘Cavern’ cellar, a certain Brian Epstein becomes their manager and the rest, as they say, was history.
It offers a fascinating insight into how it all became too much for them, after the marriage, they had to play it down as John’s popularity soared. Snatched moments of togetherness became normal existence for them. Cynthia with a young baby began to get mobbed in the street, they moved house often to avoid the fans, and as John became accustomed and altered into his new way of life, Cynthia just tried to exist alongside him, but often on her own, as their lives became seriously altered.
A few black and white photographs accompany the narrative, but they do little to explain how age begets wisdom in her case. She could see things happening before others could, her down to earth consciousness saw the writing on the wall before his famous relationship with Yoko Ono seriously began. Cynthia does not blame anyone in particular, just circumstances, that later, as time moved inexorably onward, she was proved correct.
I enjoyed the book again, even after all these years have elapsed, nostalgia, especially truthful nostalgia is a force to be reckoned with, and I for one loved it. I read it again now as a sort of tribute to her memory, as she died April 1st 2015. Cynthia Lennon was a remarkable woman who really lived a life.
Reg Seward 4/2
A Twist of Lennon by Cynthia Lennon
Star 9780352301963 pbk Jun 1978