115. Lisa Jewell; Family Roots in India, a Different Barbados and How Nothing Beats a Week in Lanzarote - The Big Travel Podcast

Episode 115
February 23 , 2021

115. Lisa Jewell; Family Roots in India, a Different Barbados and How Nothing Beats a Week in Lanzarote

Internationally best-selling author Lisa Jewell is a Londoner through and through, yet her Anglo-Indian mother had a rather traumatic upbringing in India and Pakistan. Lisa’s travelled far and wide – tracing her family roots in India, having rare-for-the-time childhood holidays in Barbados and was even inspired to centre one novel about an unknown woman sneaking into a posh beach resort in the south of France. But she’s in her holiday element when spending a couple of weeks chilling in a nice hotel in Lanzarote.  


On this episode we cover:


Her mother being abandoned in India as a child

Her grandmother being sent to England solo with baby twins

Her four year old mother being sent to boarding school

Being told she had a different mother now

Finally taking the boat to England age 10

The long-lost brother who appeared in the garden

Casual acts of cruelty against children in the Victorian era

The difficult trip to India that should have been magical

Struggling with countries with extreme wealth divides

Finding India a huge culture shock

Turning into sulky teenagers when on holiday with parents

Not being that impressed by the Taj Mahal

Finding Cape Town a similar experience in terms of struggling with the poverty

Preferring a week in a resort in Lanzarote

Good food, female emancipation and nice weather

LFN ‘going travelling’ as ending up as far as Amsterdam

People’s expectations going to be lower now since Covid

The joys of writing in a café

But feeling guilty in post Covid cafes

Not doing any research for her books

Writing a book a year

Her first book being written for a bet when working as a secretary

The mysterious woman in the South of France who inspired a whole book

LFN’s parents probably looking quite striking as a mixed race family in the South of France in the 70s and 80s

No-one inheriting her mother’s Anglo-Indian colouring

Growing up sandwiched between the colourful, loud Indian side and her white middle class side

Barbados being an (unexpected for 1970s and 80s) huge part of their childhoods

Barbados Christmas parties (and Boney M) being etched in her mind forever