The memoirs of a writer living in North Carmarthenshire who was born in Upper Frog Street, Tenby and spent her early childhood there are shortly to be published.

Known mostly for her poetry, Simone Mansell Broome has over the last three years branched out into children’s fiction and non-fiction for adults. Cambria Publishing in Carmarthenshire are publishing her first memoir at the end of this month - ‘Falafels, some frogs and a ferret’.

Sara-Jane Arbury introduced her summary for the back cover with the words ‘an eye-opener, surprising’ and Derek Webb prefaced his with the words ‘seriously seductive’.

‘Falafels, some frogs and a ferret’ is only around 28,000 words long – novella-length, but the 21 chapters of this intimate, personal memoir are packed full of impressions, anecdotes, stories and observations ranging from the seemingly slight and inconsequential to the deeply serious, to the real sadness and challenges underpinning and punctuating an ‘ordinary’ life.

The child is mother to the woman and the foibles, prejudices and frailties of one generation will surface, inevitably, in the next. Simone Mansell Broome was born in Tenby, grandchild to tenant farmers in Begelly, Pembrokeshire, first child of a man with a troubled relationship to his homeland and a hard-working, dynamic, intensely emotional Englishwoman. The memoir dips in and out of the Tenby of Simone’s infancy and early childhood, a later childhood over the border, a turbulent adolescence and onwards into early motherhood.

This little book is entertaining – a light read but with a steely core. Simone Mansell Broome is an observer, often an outsider, her soul rooted in Wales and her outlook persistently and emphatically positive.

This is not a purely chronological account. It does not wear its heart on its sleeve or dwell self-indulgently on the bad times. This is a series of surprising, mundane, moving and sympathetic vignettes of family life, of an education in school and in love, which seesaws like the playground and fairground rides she recalls from fun to fear, from sunshine to storms. The chapters are linked by the letter ‘f’. It’s a device to corral and make sense of a large database of life experience; it allows for switches in mood and style, for the reader to sample stories, memories, observations. Even at her most light-hearted moments, she is perceptive, empathetic. Even when quite dark episodes are alluded to, humour isn’t very far away. A couple of the chapters and the revelations therein could startle or trouble the easily startled or easily troubled. All will strike a chord, whatever reminiscence the author is sharing.