Review: Head Shot – Victoria Nixon

Head Shot is a beautiful memoir from Victoria Nixon about her life growing up in Yorkshire, and the glamour and grief that follows her life and modelling career. Through a blend of both emotive and funny memories and reflections, as well as many fabulous photographs from the era, Nixon lets us into her world and takes us right to the heart of the 60s and 70s.

At the very beginning of this memoir, there are some really endearing and nostalgic memories of Nixon’s childhood growing up in Barnsley. It is apparent from the beginning that we will find a great deal of humour in the pages of this book – clear from the moment when Victoria shows us what she calls her first date “hair-don’t, part beehive, part bagel’ (complete with picture!). But what we also see immediately through a heartbreaking moment, is that even from early on in her life, Nixon has also had to deal with a great deal of hardship.

Once her modelling career begins with gusto, Nixon is catapulted into a busy life of photo-shoots, travelling and hard work. Many chapters follow Victoria on adventurous travels for her career – so we get the most iconic snapshots of Milan, Paris, New York and other places across the world as they were in the 60s and 70s. Nixon’s great sense of humour continues to shines throughout. And wow, the pictures! There are both smaller pictures integrated with the text and gorgeous full-page colour pictures, which really bring everything to life before our eyes.

While for obvious reasons the book largely reveals things about the modelling industry during this time, we see glimpses of everything that makes this era what it is. Style oozes out of every pore! Victoria’s path often crosses with key players in the music industry at the time. We also see the famous, fast-paced creatively of the ‘mad-men’ advertising era, soirees with artist Dali and hear about politics of the time. These parts of the memoir are energy filled – really great fun to read, and exactly the sort of thing that I expected to read about in this memoir.

But what really stood out about Nixon’s memoir to me was just how bold it is, in it’s telling of some very painful parts of Nixon’s life. She handles the sensitive subjects of suicide and bereavement in such an honest and raw way, which was really unique to read about. I was also struck by her exploration of domestic violence and abusive relationships, which felt so brave to reveal to readers.

So while, as you might expect, I’d recommend this to anyone interested in hearing about the style and culture of the 60s and 70s, it also deals sensitively and honestly with emotive themes that I think will be of interest to a lot of other readers too.

Head Shot by Victoria Nixon is published today (8th August 2019) by Unbound. Many thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Sophie @Sophie_Jo_Books   📚 🐾

One thought on “Review: Head Shot – Victoria Nixon

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