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Mary Dobbs was born on the same day as Peter Sutcliffe, the notorious serial killer known as the Yorkshire Ripper. Instead of murdering adversaries who cross her path, however, she resorts to more subtle acts of revenge. Even so, these actions do not always provide the expected results; hilarity occurs at least as often as vengeance. In her memoir, Mary shares her amusing coming-of-age journey to overcome religious dogma in post-war London during the ever-changing 1950s and 1960s.

From an early age, Mary chronicles how she always fancied herself as a trailblazer who nurtured a strong desire to become the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest. A self-proclaimed lover of words, Mary made up many of her own to overcome the boredom of her restricted life, in which she was expected to mimic the behavior of her namesake, the mother of Jesus. Determined to change her life, Mary waits until she is a teenager to dye her hair orange, attend a Beatles concert, discover Soho, and splash in the fountains in Trafalgar Square on New Year’s Eve.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Inventing My Childhood offers a witty glimpse into one woman’s entertaining journey as she fights to hold onto her identity, discover her passions in life, and ultimately achieve her true destiny.

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