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Imagine This Growing up With My Brother John Lennon – a Book Review

Shauna shares her passion for the artists who bring us music, create memories and make the world a better place.

Do you see the resemblance?

Do you see the resemblance?

It’s no secret that I’m a huge John Lennon fan. When I saw this title, written by Lennon’s sister, Julia Baird, I had to have it. Check out the photo on the back cover. Is she not John in female form? There’s no doubt she is who she says she is.

Wait until you read the book. Only a sister could pen the emotional pain to which the Lennon children were subjected. That pain has driven all of them throughout their lives.

Julia carries on despite having suffered so many losses in her life. You’ll learn how she turned that pain around and now works with troubled adolescents.

John tried to carry on, but Mark David Chapman snipped his search for personal peace when he was just forty years into his journey.

This is not about John Lennon’s death, but about his life, as told by his sister Julia Baird.

John Lennon Was a Brother

Long before he became a star, John Lennon was a brother. He was the first born child of Julia Stanley and Alfred “Alf” Lennon. Birth date: October 9, 1940. Birthplace: Liverpool, England.

Julia came third (March 5th 1947), when mom Julia hooked up with John “Bobby” Dykins. Sister Jacqueline “Jackie” entered the world in 1949.

It wasn’t until John and most of the family had died that it was discovered there was a child born between John and Julia, the result of an affair their mother had while John’s dad was away at sea. Her name was Victoria, mother Julia’s favorite female name. However, she was forced to give her baby girl up by her stringent family. Julia Baird didn’t learn of Victoria’s existence until after John’s death; that she, John and Jackie had another sister. She was renamed Ingrid by her adopted family. John never knew.

John was taken from his mother when he was only five years old and forced to live with one of Julia’s older sisters, Mimi. She and the rest of the Stanley family were very strict, never accepting of Julia’s free spirit. This devastated John and Julia. John remembers his mom as being a musical soul who loved to dance and sing. In fact, she taught him to play the banjo. Her favorite singer was Elvis Presley, whom John would later have the honor of meeting once The Beatles hit fame.

Young John Lennon resented being kept from his mom and sister. He often skipped school to sneak visits behind Mimi’s back.

Life was tough.

John grew up striving for acceptance by his extended family; even more so when Julia was struck by a car and killed. John, (sister) Julia, and Jackie were not told that their mother was dead. They were never invited to her funeral. In fact, it wasn’t until sister Julia’s daughter thought to look up her grandmother’s burial plot under the name of Julia Lennon that the girls were ever able to visit the gravesite; they had no idea where she was buried. Julia looked for years, assuming Mom’s burial site was under the name of Julia Dykins. After Mom’s resting place was discovered, Julia was saddened that there was no headstone – just a ceramic cat and lots of weeds.

John never got to pay his respects.

Julia Baird Talks About Her Mother, Alf Lennon, And Brother John

An Emotional Plea by John Lennon

Emotional Scars

Julia Baird gives us a naked look into the life of John Lennon and his siblings. Very little is about The Beatles. Yes, we get a behind-the-scenes look into how they came to be, but this book is about John Lennon, the person. The human being. His love for family and how it affected him when family was taken away. It explains why he succumbed to Yoko’s ruling nature. He needed a mother figure and she was that. Whether or not he realized it will never be known. However, she defined and outlined his every movement.

John was a lost boy who needed to be found, but his family- his sister Julia- never gave up on him.

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It would be twenty some-odd years after his death that it was discovered Yoko was instrumental in keeping John’s roots from nurturing his life. Baird’s book goes into detail about the control Yoko had over not only John, but the entire family.

Towards The End of This Interview, Julian Lennon Speaks of His Father And a Message Received After His Death

History Repeats Itself

Cars killed too many members of the Lennon clan. It all started with John and Julia’s mom being hit by a car while walking to the bus stop after a visit with John. She was never to be seen again. John and Julia weren’t to know of their mother’s demise until sometime later. It was hidden from them. Why? They weren’t told the truth. They weren’t invited to the funeral. They weren’t allowed to grieve.


Why was mother Julia’s life not afforded the memories of the only three people on Earth who saw her as an inspiration rather than a disgrace to the family? Julia loved her children more than life itself. It’s a pity her father and sisters made it their mission to keep her apart from the people she cherished the most.

And later, Yoko did the same, unbeknownst to John.

Ironically, John would eventually forsake his own first born son, Julian. Once Yoko came into the picture, very little contact was shared between John and Julian (named after John’s beloved mother), then dwindled to nothing. Years passed before Julian once again became a part of his father’s life.

After Sean was born in 1975, all communication between John and his sisters came to a sad halt. Then, the day before John Lennon was killed, he contacted Julia to inform her he’d be traveling to England to spend some time with his siblings in the New Year. He missed his family and wanted to come home. But it wasn’t to be. The family was torn apart once again – this time forever.

John Lennon’s Legacy Lives On

John Lennon’s music lives on to inspire us. He has a place in our hearts and will never be forgotten. Imagine This brings the reader into the life of a little Liverpudlian boy who had big dreams and even bigger demons.

Although Julia Baird’s book is about growing up with John Lennon, it’s dedicated to their mother. John would have appreciated that. In his own words, “I lost my mother twice: once as a child of five and then again at seventeen. It made me very, very bitter inside. I had just begun to establish a relationship with her when she was killed. We’d caught up on so much in just a few short years. We could communicate. We got on.” (It sends shivers up my spine to know that Julian lost his dad when he was seventeen, shortly after they reunited, as well.)

If you’re a fan of John Lennon, do yourself a favor and read IMAGINE THIS Growing up with my brother John Lennon. You’ll see a side of John that the media never brought to our attention. The book includes several pages of photographs of John as a child and through The Beatles years. You’ll come face to face with his siblings and the aunt who made it her mission to keep the children and their mother apart. You’ll learn of the strength that is borne of struggle. You’ll be surprised. You’ll be angry. And you’ll cry.

In the end, you’ll love him even more.

Rest in peace, John Lennon. May you and your beloved mother continue to dance and make music for the angels to enjoy.

We miss you.



This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2015 Shauna L Bowling


Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on February 27, 2019:

Mark, I think that's what artists, writers, musicians, do. Creativity is a release from sorrow, anger, helplessness and so much more. It's truly a crying shame his life was short-lived. We need more Lennons in this world to show us that there are alternatives to wallowing in sorrow, warring against mankind and nature, and letting negativity permeate.

I appreciate your comment. You put it in a nutshell.

Mark Tulin from Palm Springs, California on February 27, 2019:

Good read, Shauna. John turned his pain into beauty.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on July 23, 2018:

It's a very good book, Shaloo. John and his mother went through a lot. If you're a Lennon fan, it's worth a read.

Shaloo Walia from India on July 20, 2018:

I never knew about this aspect of John Lennon's life. Seems like an inteesting memoir!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on February 07, 2018:

Thanks, Nell. Have you read the book?

Nell Rose from England on February 07, 2018:

Came back for another read, shared.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on July 05, 2017:

Louise, it's a very good book, although sad in many places. I think once you read it, you'll have a new perspective on the man who was John Lennon.

If you do read it, please come back and tell me your thoughts.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on July 01, 2017:

This sounds like a really good book. I'm not a huge fan of him, but I do like his music. I think I'd enjoy reading this book.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on April 12, 2017:

Indeed it does, Catherine. The book brought out so many emotions in me, not all of them pleasant. I've always loved John Lennon. He had a hard way to go as a youngster and even later in life.

Thanks for taking the time to comment. Much appreciated!

Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on April 12, 2017:

Thank you for this illuminating book review. I never knew much about John Lennon's family. This provides so many clues about his later life and music.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 31, 2016:

Jackie, I think you'll enjoy the book. You'll see John in a whole new light. I've always like him, but can't stand Yoko, even more so after reading this book.

Thanks for stopping by. Happy New Year and be safe!

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on December 30, 2016:

Very interesting and I will definitely look for this book. (Might check the library first.) I never really liked John until the last few years of his life and I think then seeing how Yoko controlled him made my heart go out. He also got so very handsome in his last years too, and well of course his beautiful voice could never be denied.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on June 15, 2016:

Nell, I never liked Yoko either - and for good reason now that I've read this book. It's available on Amazon. That's where I bought it. I have a link to it in this hub unless HP took it down.

Thanks for the read and your wonderful comment.

Nell Rose from England on June 14, 2016:

Hi, what an interesting read! I was too young to appreciate the Beatles at the time, and by the time I was getting into them or should I say John, he was of course, killed. Which was such a shame as his music was amazing. Yoko, I never liked, even when I watched them back on old film, there was just that something you know? now I know what! if I do come across this book it does sound like my kind of reading, thanks for the review, nell

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on April 11, 2016:

So lovely to see you, my friend. Just like old times!

Eiddwen from Wales on April 11, 2016:

What a great read . loved it , so interesting and great to be back .


Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on March 17, 2016:

Pat, your words are so true. I recommend this book highly. It'll give you a whole new perspective on John Lennon's life. We all bear many burdens through life - some more than others, as you well know. The book is an eye-opener, for sure.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on March 17, 2016:

Shauna as I read your review I just kept thinking, no wonder John sang songs that would resonate through the years...all of the pain and sadness found a voice in his works.

I will have to read this for sure.

Angels are once again winging their way to you ps shared g+

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on January 17, 2016:

Thank you so much, Rabadi! What an awesome comment! Glad to have you in my corner.

If you're a John Lennon fan, I hope you read the book. You'll learn so much more than I revealed here.

TruthisReal from New York on January 16, 2016:

Awesome review looking forward to reading more of your reviews :) I am now following awesome awesome awesome!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on January 12, 2016:

I'm so jealous, Stella!

stella vadakin from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619 on January 11, 2016:

Yes, we got a look at all of them. It was great even though my cousin and I got in big trouble for jumping the fence. Great time to live. stella

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on January 11, 2016:

Stella, I love his music, too. Did you actually see him at the Midway Airport? I would have loved to have seen him in person. Imagine bumping into him in Greenwich Village and striking up a conversation. How cool would that have been?

stella vadakin from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619 on January 10, 2016:

Bravewarrior, I love John Lennon and probably all his music. I was in Chicago in 1965 OR 1966 to see him at Midway Airport. Yes, that was a 100 years ago. Great article, stella

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on January 02, 2016:

Faith, it sounds like Real Love was written from the heart. Then again, all his songs were. I'd love to hear what you think after you read the book. It had quite an impact on me.

Happy New Year to you too my friend!

Faith Reaper from southern USA on January 02, 2016:

Oh, wow, Sha, what a great book review from you here! I write mostly non-fiction, so I love non-fiction. I had no previous knowledge of John’s life before the Beatles. This breaks my heart for all. I’m so glad his sister has written this book. I have been listening to John Lennon here of late on my commutes into the city. One song that really hits me hard for its message is Real Love, and especially when he is singing about all the little girls and boys just needing a little love from us …so true. I will want to read this one.

Thank you, again, for the wonderful review.

Happy New Year

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 31, 2015:

Dianna, I think "Imagine" speaks to all the broken fences of the world, both personal and global. John Lennon is a legend who will live on through eternity. I agree that it's a shame he had such a rough childhood, but he made the best of it. That in itself is an inspiration.

Thank you for stopping by on this last day of 2015. I wish you the best in the coming year and beyond.

Dianna Mendez on December 31, 2015:

His story is interesting. It is a shame he had to suffer so much as a young child and to alienate his own family later. His song "Imagine" is one that perhaps tries to mend those broken fences. Great review of the book, Shauna.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 28, 2015:

Nice to see you Cris! I'd love to hear your thoughts on the book once you read it.

CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on December 27, 2015:

This is definitely going on my booklist. Thank you for the review. You've done well without revealing that much.

I hope you had a wonderful holidays Sha and I wish you and yours a very happy New Year.

Love from the sky~

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 24, 2015:

Always, I hope I didn't reveal so much that you won't read the book. There's much more to it than I spoke of here. "Imagine" is one of my favorite's too. I never get tired of hearing it.

Merry Christmas, Always!

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on December 24, 2015:

Your review of this book is brilliant! I learned so much that I was unaware of. How very sad that John's life was unfilled. His song ' Imagine ' will always be a favorite of mine. Merry Christmas Shauna.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 23, 2015:

Audrey, thank you for sharing. I found the book by accident when I was looking for John Lennon on Amazon. As I've said in my post, once I saw it, I had to have it. I honestly don't know if it's a best seller or not, but certainly worth adding to your library.

Audrey Selig from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on December 22, 2015:

Dear Shauna - What a lovely book review about a tragic story. You never know what goes on in families, even those whom you think you know. I never heard of this book, but it certainly must be a best seller. You reviewed it with passion and all the right words. Thanks for sharing. Also sharing. Blessings, Audrey

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 22, 2015:

Thank you for the compliment, Shyron. I look forward to reading your review.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on December 21, 2015:

Shauna, this was very touching, and I look forward to reading the book.

I hope I can do half as good a job on the book review I am in the middle of writing.

Blessings and hugs

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 21, 2015:

Flourish, I didn't know he had a sister either until I saw the title on Amazon. Turns out he had three sisters. He was the oldest child. I find it quite odd that we never knew about his family either as a Beatle or a solo artist. I knew about Cynthia and Julian, but had no idea about who he was from a personal standpoint.

Thanks for sharing!

FlourishAnyway from USA on December 21, 2015:

What a great review, Sha. I didn't know he had a sister. It's so sad that people repeat their family patterns (e.g., alienating themselves for years, in his case). Sharing and G+ing.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 21, 2015:

Deb, thank you for your amazing comment! I'm no authority on John Lennon, but his sister is. There's no way I could even come close. I sure appreciate the thought, though!

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on December 21, 2015:

No kidding aside, this is one of the best book reviews that I have ever read. Your passion for John Lennon comes through on this. Maybe YOU should write a book about him, as I think it might be a best seller to be.

manatita44 from london on December 20, 2015:

You speak like me, or should I say, you speak to me. You know what I mean. Hari Om! (Alleyuia! Praise be!)

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 20, 2015:

Manatita, I knew what you meant. You couldn't have commented on Julia Baird's interview without reading this.

Yes, John was very spiritual. Perhaps that's why I relate to him. It's a mindset. A philosophy, more than a religion. His was universal. However we believe and however we live, the hope for peace is tantamount. He gave us a message that those who don't read the Scriptures listened to. He was a current-time Son of God and continues to be through his musical messages. Music is a language the entire world can understand.

John Lennon will live on far beyond our time on Earth.

manatita44 from london on December 20, 2015:

I guess 'Hub will probably do also, but I meant 'book. Of course I read your Hub. Just correcting myself here.

My genre for the last 33 years have been Spirituality or Ancient Wisdom, but I'm sometimes captivated by excellent and touching stories or writings, this very Hub being one of them, my Sweet Shauna. John Lennon is not only a legend but spiritual too, and he, like his sister, suffered some indignities. All my life I've empathized with such Souls. Happy Christmas!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 20, 2015:

Cee-Jay, I'm not supposed to include links to my own work in the comments. Look for the "blue" word "Julian" in the section I cited. You'll find the story when you click on Julian.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 20, 2015:

Manatita, I don't know what genre you prefer to read. I prefer fiction, but am also drawn to life stories, especially when they're told by those who lived them. I entitled the hub exactly the way the title of the book is written. The rest is a synopsis of what it has to offer.

Thank you for your very kind comment.

Happy Christmas to you my dear friend!

Cee-Jay Aurinko from Cape Town, South Africa on December 20, 2015:

This is the first time I read about John's son, Julian. The post would be interesting to look at. Thanks Shauna.

manatita44 from london on December 20, 2015:

A most necessary and passionate read. Poignant, interesting, revealing and flowed excellently.

I like hearing his sister speak on the video. So much of life teaches us in so many different ways! More and more I feel that God is not only the best Judge, He is the only Judge. All is His plan and Consciousness.

I have not read this appropriately titled Hub, but I feel that you have done it much justice. Happy Christmas!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 20, 2015:

Cee-Jay, John Lennon is a household name here in the states. His music, political activism, and strive for peace are legendary. I do hope you check out the book. I've also written about his first son, Julian. The link to the article is embedded in the section above entitled "History repeats itself". Julian has had a lot to overcome as the son of a Beatle. His dad would be proud of the work he's doing today for humanity.

Thank you for reading. I really appreciate you taking the time.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 20, 2015:

Genna, a gravestone was finally set on Julia's grave, but many (too many) years after her death. And after John's. We can gain solace in knowing that John and his mother are together again. This time, no one can pull them apart.

Cee-Jay Aurinko from Cape Town, South Africa on December 20, 2015:

Now, I don't know much about John Lennon, or his music, but I am a big fan of popular music so I have heard his name mentioned a couple of times. I love reading inspirational true stories, and Imagine This definitely sounds like one I should take a look at. Thanks for the wonderful review, Shauna!

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on December 20, 2015:

I understand that Julia never divorced her first husband, Lennon. John's song, Julia, is a favorite of mine; beautiful lyrics. As your article so well conveys, this family led a traumatic and sad life. It also explains Yoko's controlling influence over John. I've heard that a headstone was finally placed on Julia's grave, May both she and John rest in loving peace.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 20, 2015:

Dora, when I saw this book I knew I had to read it. We're told so little of his life. This book is very enlightening. It's definitely worth reading.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on December 20, 2015:

You tell John's story very well. I wouldn't mind reading the book myself. His sister makes us know the man and his struggles apart from him being a star. Interesting and appealing! Thanks for the review.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 18, 2015:

John, it is an interesting read. I knew nothing of John's private life or his life prior to becoming a Beatle. It's very eye opening, to say the least.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on December 18, 2015:

Excellent hub Shauna. I didn't know anything about John's sister Julia. I am sure her book would be a very interesting read. Great review.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 18, 2015:

Linda, when you read the book you'll learn why John was drawn to Yoko. I still don't like her, but I don't want to give away what the attraction was for him. I'd be curious to hear your reaction to the book when you finish it.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on December 18, 2015:

Wow! What a review! What a story! What a life that we might not have ever known about if John's sister didn't share this with the world. Very interesting indeed. I will read this book, one day! What kept going through my mind while reading his history is that poor John definately had bad luck with women controlling his life...mostly what's her face. Yucky Yoko! Fabulous review, you along with Julia did John proud.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 18, 2015:

Thank you, Larry. I appreciate your comment. John Lennon certainly was an interesting man.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on December 18, 2015:

Wonderful overview of this book about such an interesting historical figure from a compelling perspective.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 18, 2015:

Mar, the book is well-written and keeps you turning the pages. The fact that Baird included personal family photos is a bonus. John was a cutie all through his life!

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on December 18, 2015:

I am amazed as well at the family resemblance between brother and sister.

I'll be most interested in checking this out based on your comprehensive review.

Wonderful job, dear Sha. Love, mar

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 18, 2015:

I'm glad you enjoyed this Martie. It's sad John had to grow up the way he did. He will always be remembered as a man who strove for peace.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on December 18, 2015:

Imagine and Mother are two of my favorite John Lennon songs. What a sad childhood he must have had! May Julia's book open the eyes of many who don't believe in the importance of a core family and the bonds between siblings.

Excellent review, Shauna!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 18, 2015:

Drbj, I had an "aha" moment regarding Yoko when I read the book, but it was short lived. She kept John from his sisters (not telling him when they called, intercepting all communication) and even sold the house John had bought for his sisters right from under their feet. Yoko was very controlling. Probably still is. Who knows?

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 18, 2015:

Ghost, I understand. The book wasn't all grim, however. Julia speaks of John's sense of humor as well. Apparently, he was quite the clown when he wanted to be.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 18, 2015:

Al, John's father left when he was very young. He jumped ship and remained aloof for several years. He did try to reunite with Julia (John's father), but she wanted no part of it after having been abandoned with no contact from him. I think the only one who would have enough to write a book about him would be Julia and she's gone. Julia Baird didn't know Alf Lennon. I guess we'll never know any more than Julia was able to recount in her book about John.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on December 17, 2015:

What a lovely review of the book, Sha, as well as a tribute to John Lennon. And such a sad story. I can understand John a little bit more regarding his attraction to Yoko Ono after reading your fascinating prose.

Ghost32 on December 17, 2015:

Pretty grim, Sha. I'm glad you wrote the review; there's no way I could handle the entire book. I can deal reasonably well with coming face to face with extreme family trauma in all its myriad forms, but never in the written word. My mind has no defensive filters when I'm reading; the impact in my psyche is far too destructive.

Al Wordlaw from Chicago on December 17, 2015:

Very touching truth of John Lennon, Shauna, I appreciate knowing more of what his life was like. Yes, his music lives on in our lives. Of course, I enjoyed him more so as a Beatle. I admire that he loved his mother so much. Maybe one day, someone will write about his father as well. Thank you for presenting such a legend of a man here.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 17, 2015:

Gail, I feel - or felt- the same as you.I knew nothing of who John was or why he presented himself to us the way he did. I just knew he touched my heart with his music and the messages he sent us via song.

My heart bleeds for him. It always bled for Julian, because I knew part of the story. The parallels in John and Julian's life will blow you away.

Please take the time to learn more about Julian. You'll appreciate the man he's become. I wrote a hub about him. If it weren't for the love of his mother, he might not have become who he is now. What's ironic is, he's living his dad's dream of bringing peace to the world.

The apple never falls far from the tree.

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on December 17, 2015:

As a huge Beatles and John Lennon fan, I was surprised to learn the things you wrote about in this intriguing review and will go on to read the book. Thanks for sharing this info.



Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 17, 2015:

I'm sorry to hear that, Mike. I have two books sitting beside my desk, written my writer friends. It may take some time before I can read them, but there're here under my nose.

I also have a signed copy of The Cinderella Murder, by Mary Higgins Clark, that was given to me by my mom. Having it, and the others in my possession, keeps them foremost in my mind. In other words, I won't forget to include them in my reading repertoire.

There's something to be said by "building your library".

Many writers are inspired by pain. You've done the same in some of your stories as well. Human emotions create the muses in our lives. Only a selected few few recognize them for what they are.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on December 17, 2015:

Hello Sha. The meatgrinder of creativity seems to be pain. John Lennon produced creativity in abundance, and here you explain the source. Many family backgrounds would not hold up under even the slightest investigation. Here again Julia proves that.

All who read your review will be interested in reading the book. Your interview piqued my interest, though my reading list is closed until further notice - that is many book have to be removed by reading them.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 17, 2015:

GF, I'm with you on the Yoko front. Never did like her. Neither did the Beatles. You'll like her even less after you read this book.

I had to hold myself back from including "Imagine" in this article. Although it's one of my favorite songs, I didn't want to be predictable. I think John's "Mother" better speaks the pain he suffered as a child. The sad thing is, he seemed to never have absorbed the fact that she didn't leave him - she had no choice at the time. But a child's memories at age five last for life, no matter what transpires later.

Suzie from Carson City on December 17, 2015:

Thanks for the offer GF, but I'll get a copy. What I usually do is get my books from the library. If I love it, I'll buy it to add to my collection. Sounds like I will definitely enjoy this tale.

I never liked Yoko at all she just generally an unlikable person or what? Actually, I thought she was ugly, untalented, nasty and not good enough for John Lennon. LOL (who am I?)

I get goose bumps when I hear "Imagine." It's a powerful song and with him having been assassinated, it's worse. Thanks for all the info!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 17, 2015:

Paula, what's amazing (to me) is the "lost sister" Victoria wants nothing to do with the Lennons. Actually, that's kind of refreshing. She certainly could have capitalized on being the sister who was thrown aside, not to mention that she has the same mother as John, Julia, and Jackie.

I was shocked to learn how this family was torn apart, over and over again. But it validated my distrust and dislike of Yoko.

I watched a brief interview with Julia Baird on You Tube when I was looking for enhancements to this article. It must have was conducted during the launch of the book I've reviewed here. When asked why she wrote it, she said the real truth had to be made known. She likened it to the American game of "Whisper Down the Lane", although she called it something more familiar to Brits (Chinese something-or-other). She said that when three people tell the story, it changes. But by the time 33 people tell the story, it's in a different language all together, meaning it's nowhere near the truth.

I'm glad she came forth and told the truth. I really hope you read the book, even if you borrow it. If you like, I can send you my copy but you have to send it back when you're finished. Email me and let me know.

Suzie from Carson City on December 17, 2015:

Sha.....Interesting as all heck! I knew none of his background or family life. Kind of messy, eh? I nearly lost track of who was who and how! LOL

I can't even imagine realizing I am JOHN LENNON'S SISTER!! He's such an enormous musical icon. There are those very rare "one of a kind" huge name celebrities.....Marilyn, Elvis, The Beatles....

I'm a loyal non-fiction fan so I know I'll love this book! Great review GF! Merry Christmas, Paula

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 17, 2015:

Bill, as you know, I prefer fiction. But, having the chance to learn about John's life from someone who was there, propelled me to buy the book. There's so much more to it than I've mentioned here. And there's nothing in the media. I even Googled "John Lennon talks about his childhood" and "John Lennon talks about his mother" and came up with nothing.

This book is fascinating and sad at the same time. I'm glad you think it deserves a spot on your shelf. That's where it is in my house!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 17, 2015:

What a fascinating read that would be. I had no knowledge of his life prior to the Beatles. I think this is a book that belongs on my shelf. Thanks for the review, Sha! Great info!

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