I have The Tent, the Bucket and Me - and it caused me a lot of when I read it. I am the same age as her, and some of the things she wrote didn't quite add up - no problem, artistic licence an' all that - but the French conversations really did bother me. Because she could not have remembered them. If she and her parents had no understanding of French, then how the bloody hell did she remember what was said in perfect French? She couldn't have remembered it in English and then translated it back again because she (and they) didn't understand it in the first place; and as she didn't understand French she couldn't possibly have remembered the construct in French either! So I think those bits must be complete fabrications, based on later knowledge. Funny though.
Re the French Conversations, I don't think she remembered any of the specifics of the conversations did she? The humour simply came from her parents' lack of understanding and what they were saying was pretty irrelevant (that's how I remember it anyway!) The chapter about them trying to get a chicken for instance (which is one of the funniest things I've read - ever!) just described her parents' lack of understanding at why they were not allowed to buy a chicken I don't see the fuss about whether it actually was fabricated or not anyway - if it was just something she's made up it would have still been great! As you can gather I loved The tent, the bucket and me. I'm saving the second one to read when I'm in holiday mode... but I have a feeling it can't possibly be as good.
Sorry thumbs - didn't mean to offend - I just loved it that's all, it gave me lots of laughs which has to be a good thing! You are of course perfectly within your rights to criticise... I loved it though and for some reason feel very protective towards it
Have just had a quick look at my copy to satisfy my curiosity ThumbsNoseAtSnapewitch and yes you are right - the French is all there - which, I suppose, is fair evidence that it has been elaborated upon. I think when I read it I didn't even notice that kind of thing because I didn't care whether it was true or not, I read it for a good laugh rather than its historical accuracy! I can see what you mean though, I suppose if you are reading it expecting a strict autobiography the lack of 'fact' might be a bit annoying... but I did love it...