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Friday, 7 June 2019

Between the Immensities

Between the Immensities is a new novel from Dorothy Davy, who was born in Bootle (which is near Liverpool) and who now lives in New Zealand where she practices as a CBT psychologist.

Dorothy uses not only her training but also her Scouse with to make this a most enjoyable and heart-warming read.

Psychologist Doctor Katherine Moore has spent the best part of four decades living and working in New Zealand.

But her life is set to change, yet again as she has finally bowed to the combined pressures from her sisters to return Liverpool (or more specifically, Bootle in Liverpool) to care for their elderly mother who is dying of terminal cancer.

Katherine moves into the council flat that is her mother's. Yet something does seem right. The "lovely gentle Liverpool mammy" that she knew has been replaced with someone far more negative and curmudgeonly.

Her various attempts to cope with her mother's attitude seems to cause her family no end of amusement.

But Katherine has tools at her disposal that her family member do not have. After all, isn't Katherine a trained and highly experienced Doctor of Psychology? Surely she can put her training an expertise of many long years of practice to the job of getting back into meaningful communication with her mother?

Gradually things between them and within the wider family start to change and suddenly family life is flipped in ways that probably couldn't have been expected.

Eventually mother and daughter get their stuff together and learn to love each other again and to become a formidable team. But who had been the thief amongst them? Surely not one of their own?

If you read this moving, truthful book, here's a fair warning, there will be tears in your eyes before the end.

What makes the book all the more interesting is that it is based on true events that shook the rational, scientific beliefs of Dr Davy to the core.

Its published by The Book Guild at £8.99.

Re-Tyred

Re-Tyred is an amazing memoir from author and retired university lecturer, Sara McMurry.

After she took her retirement she decided that she would become a voluntary teacher in India.

She brings to the page her experiences as a volunteer teacher in parts of rural India and also on the streets of Kolkata.

She takes her readers on an amazing journey from a small shop in the town of Jaisalmer in the desert region of north-west India, and where the shopkeeper gave her a philosophical fillip and a new take on the rest of her life. And, incidentally, inspired the title of the book.

She learned why there are so many vegetarian restaurants in Kerela, was moved by the plight of the disabled beggars who live in the shadow of the Taj Mahal, marvelled at the chaos that is rush hour in big Indian cities, visited poor people in not only the cities and towns but also the rural areas, too.

She learned that even the poor were more than willing to work, turning their hands to anything they could do, selling trinkets, postcards or cleaning shoes.

She also noted that amidst the great poverty there also exists great wealth, too, hovels where the poor lived and opulent palatial accommodations for the wealthy and the very rich.

And she met children who were eager to learn to improve themselves.

The book is well-written an illustrated with line drawn maps and some extremely good colour photographs.

It's a wonderful book which I can highly recommend.

It's published by Matador at £12.00.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Rain Town

Rain Town is a amusing, yet adventurous novel by Andy Donaldson. It's about a man called Sidney Rain. Sidney Rain is a normal sort of a bloke, who has a normal sort of a job, who, quite naturally, lives in a normal sort of a town.

However, that's not all there is to Sidney Rain, for Sidney Rain is, for all his apparently normal traits, a superhero, too. Well, at least he likes to dress up as one and lives out his fantasy life.

However, things aren't going all that well, he is gaining weight, about to lose his job and somehow he isn't feeling too super to be honest.

His son Stanley Rain is aged 12 and he, too, is an ordinary sort of a boy, with ordinary friends who all attend the same, fairly ordinary, school in town.

However, a local business mogul is set to take over the school and it is set to change. And not for the better.

However, Stanley and his schoolmates are not going to allow that to happen, at least not without putting up a bit of a fight!

But then a mystery takes place. There's a theft and Stanley and his friends need to turn detective in order to save their school.

But Sidney is fired from his job and he needs some help, too!

But then a mysterious group of superhero crime fighters turn up and they aren't going to take the situation lying down!

This is a fun read and though it's aimed at children, adults will also enjoy it, too.

It's published by Matador at £8.99.

Footsteps Into the Light

Footsteps Into the Light is a new book from Geoff Thomas which serves as a spiritual "Manual of Life."

It takes a refreshing and new look at some old questions that have faced humanity down through the ages. Questions such as Who am I? Why are we here? Where did we come from? Where will we be going?

It's written in a remarkably fluid and readable style from a Christian point of view, though it also gives a nod to all other faiths and to those who hold to no particular faith at all.

He takes his readers through the miracle of our apparently ordinary day-to-day lives and to the spiritual journey that goes beyond this mortal life.

It's published by Matador at £12.99.

A Candle for the Atlantic

A Candle for the Atlantic is an absolutely riveting memoir of her nautical adventure of a lifetime.

Back in 1992 Casualty Staff Nurse Rosie Redway met and fell in love with the love of her life in Whitby Harbour.

However the love of her life was called Helga Maria and she was a two-masted schooner.

With very limited experience of sailing at sea Rosie decided to join the mixed crew of seven of the Helga Maria as a medic and deckhand for a very exciting six month voyage.

They crossed the Atlantic following the course set by Christopher Columbus in 1492, facing mountainous waves and storms as they fought against the elements. However, they were also able to enjoy good, sunny weather at times.

The return journey from Newfoundland was dogged with problems including total engine failure which put the boat at risk as it was forced to drift, helplessly, in the teeth of severe northerly gale force winds and monstrous seas that threatened to send the boat to the bottom of the sea.

But Rosie had total faith in the Helga Maria and her captain, but could they get the crew safely back home?

It's a fantastic account of a voyage of discovery in more ways than one and it is illustrated throughout with some stunning photographs taken on the voyages.

It's published by The Book Guild at a very modest £9.99 and makes ideal reading for lovers of memoirs, specially those set at sea.




The Paper Chase

The Paper Chase is a new thriller from Ron Welling.

Harry Stone had sent Claire Watts to spy on a competitor of his, Rick Austen.

Claire has spun Rick a story about her past, a past which, for several reasons, she doesn't want Rick to know about. Including Harry Stone.

However, Harry Stone has a nasty habit of still being there and he is very angry.

Stone had owned a lovely mansion, Arrow Hall, but it had been burnt to the ground and, as a result, the pass codes for his secret Panamanian bank accounts had been lost, apparently for ever.

But Claire isn't too sure about that and, as a result, she decides to poke around in the burnt out ruins of Arrow Hall to find the codes. Because if she can, she believes these would act as an insurance policy against Stone blabbing about what he knows of her past.

However, Stone has managed to get himself into some strife with a gangland thug and finds himself forced to attempt to launder a quarter of a million in dodgy money.

He tries to do this through a supermarket concern that, unbeknown to him, Rick has a share in. When the operation goes belly up, things start to get very unpleasant indeed as everyone tries to make sure they come out of the situation well ahead of everyone else.

But who would eventually come out on top of the situation? Claire? Harry? Xavier or Rick?

It's a readable thriller published by The Book Guild at £8.99.

One in Four Are Birds

One in Four Are Birds, is a short but dark fantasy novel that explores the terrible impacts of domestic abuse.

It tells the story of local village girl Fiona. Unlike her compatriots who were ordinary girls who would be satisfied with settling down to married life with the ordinary boys of the village, Fiona wanted none of that.

She decided that she wouldn't just settle for the ordinary, she wanted something extraordinary. But sometimes people enter situations that are extraordinarily dreadful.

Fiona finds love with a handsome, dark stranger, the man who would, she felt sure, remove her from her ordinary,  humdrum life.

Her handsome, dark stranger, Sicarus, turns out to be and abusive husband, who can turn into a violent and potentially deadly bird who preys on his wife.

Eventually Fiona plucks up the courage to escape from her abusive husband with her children, but will the abuse stop even if she can make good her escape?

And how can she help other women who are trapped in the same or similar circumstances?

This is a thought provoking novel that uses allegories to examine the plight of abused women, who, statistics show, are one in four of women.

The book is published bu The Book Guild and costs £8.99.