Defining Moments is a memoir containing 24 episodes strung together, in a unifying theme. The purpose of a memoir is to capture certain highlights or ‘meaningful moments’ in one’s past and according to Gore Vidal, ‘a memoir is how one remembers one’s own life’. This book does exactly that and is also a delightful read. The book is peppered with endearing characters, especially so Mansukha, Pyare Mian, and of course ‘Mother’ for whom Eton could have been a ‘pile of bricks’. Worried about her son being beaten by Mansukha she fears he will come home one day on a ‘stretcher’. Defining Moments then shifts to Mayo where the characters are equally quixotic. The author , perhaps one of the last ‘ commoners’ to obtain access through a prince’s sponsorship, initially feels like a fish out of the sea as he has no title to prefix or suffix to go with his name. The delightful Renie Tubbs for whom all ‘bottoms’ are the same is the stuff matrons are made of. What raises this book above the ordinary is the style in which the author has infused history into the main text. The unifying aspect is one of ‘human interest’ that runs through all the episodes. And even the professional ‘cases’ chosen in this book focus on the primacy of humanism.