What I'm reading this month: One Hundred Summers

Richard Branson smiles while holding up One Hundred Summers - a book by Vanessa Branson
Virgin
A close up of Richard Branson smiling, looking at the camera
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 6 May 2022

What I'm reading this month: One Hundred Summers

“Write things down, because you will forget.” I often reflect on this sage advice from my mum. My sister, Nessie, also took her words to heart and has written the most wonderful family memoir called One Hundred Summers.

I was one of the first people to read the memoir before it was published in 2020, and I'm very excited to read it once more with my Literati Book Club this month.

Richard Branson with his sisters lindy and Vanessa sitting on the grass as children
The Branson Family

The story begins in 1918 with the birth of our father and covers the very eventful century that followed. Nessie writes about two World Wars, the London art scene of the 1980s, countless childhood memories, an array of family entrepreneurial endeavours, the origins of Virgin, and Nessie's own incredible life too. From dropping out of school at 15, to opening her own art gallery, launching the Marrakech Biennale, and building two incredible boutique hotels - Nessie's adventures more than make a memoir of their own.

I also loved learning more about some of our most eccentric family members - like Uncle Jim, who taught soldiers how to survive on foraged food.

Various photos of the Branson family
Branson family

When One Hundred Summers was published, Holly and Nessie sat down to chat about the book, as well as the truths and lessons it uncovered. It was very moving when Nessie told Holly: “Mum’s mantra of ‘have courage, have courage, have courage’ rings in my ear all the time.”

Meet The Author: Vanessa Branson

It brought me so much joy to read One Hundred Summers, and to learn more about the world that shaped our family. I'm so grateful to Nessie for having written it and I can't wait to discuss it with my Literati book club. You can read alongside us too.