Tag Archives: memoir

Diana’s August book review ~ The Madness of Grief by The Rev Richard Coles

Why did I choose this book?

I know, I know; it’s the middle of September. Why am I writing my August book review now? I was looking at Elstow Abbey website one day, where both my parents are recently interred, and reading Father Paul’s newsletter, where he talked of how he felt the best way he could support folks through their grief is by being kind. He also mentioned reading Richard Coles’ book.

Did I want to read it so soon after my parents had both been laid to rest?

Would it be cathartic? Would it stir up all of those feelings of helplessness and overwhelming sadness once more?

In the end I downloaded it, but could only read the book in small doses, but neither could I indulge in reading a novel in between.

Did you feel empathy with any particular character?

Of course! Rev Richard Coles is pouring out his grief, feelings, thoughts and behaviour of himself, his dogs, his friends and acquaintances when faced with the loss of David, the love of his life. I do not have a dog but can imagine, if you are living on your own, having dogs snuggling up to you through the night would be such a comfort for them as well as for yourself. I was stirred by his honesty; his ability to paint a picture in words of every scene and yes, his sense of humour even at the darkest times of despair and hopelessness. I have to admit I have not, to my knowledge, listened to him talk on Radio 4 or on TV and so I had no preconceived idea of what Richard is like as a person, but I immediately warmed to the man; the church minister and the person who is obviously an extremely good and loyal friend to those close to him.

Is there a lasting thought or memory of the book which remains with you?

Yes, certainly, but one is painful and the other is heartwarming.

I was shocked by the ‘few’ and I hope that is the case, messages and letters from those who purport to be Christians and yet were not only judgmental but viciously cruel in their choice of words at such a sad time in Richard Coles’ life. Where is Christian love? Where is the evidence of ‘loving one another as I have loved you’?

I felt warmed to the offer of two very dear friends, Beth (I think it was her name ~ hard to look back on Kindle) who helped with the practical side of sorting David’s things in a way that Richard could never do in his state of mind but she was also there for him as a companion when he needed it most. Then there was Lorna, whose long term friendship offered a place to live as Richard ‘found himself’ once more. The generosity of both of these ladies (and other relations and friends too) to be there and just allow Richard to grieve in his own way and his own time, felt like being surrounded by an alpaca blanket; soft, soothing, warm and full of love.

And finally, because ‘The Madness of Grief’ deserves a final word, this book would be an eye opener and helpful not only to those bereaved, but also to those who wish to support them, and even folks who wish to widen their understanding of human experiences.

Click for Amazon UK

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The Healing Paths of Fife by Diana Jackson

coverThe Healing Paths of Fife – a personal Memoir – Fantasy, will be released on Kindle on 20th April 2017.

It can be pre-ordered here in the UK or on Amazon.com.

Part 1 From Redundancy to Rejuvenation has been available in paperback form, but this is the first time that it will be released on Kindle together with

Part 2 Letting Go and Moving On  – released for the first time – both parts as a combined novel:
The Healing Paths of Fife

Here is a description:

Diana walked along the Fife Coastal Path from North Queensferry – beneath the famous Forth Rail Bridge – to St Andrews. While on her way she trod in the footprints of a multitude of pilgrims and famous people through the ages, but she also followed in the steps of ordinary folks of Fife. She ‘met’ some fascinating characters – from St Margaret in Dunfermline to the real Robinson Crusoe, Alexander Selkirk, in Lower Largo.

Diana was enamoured by her beautiful surroundings along these healing paths. As she paused to have a ‘wee blether’ with those she ‘met,’ she learnt a new way of looking at her world, finding values which gave her a blueprint for the next stage in her life and she was fortunate to discover a sense of peace.

The further Diana travelled the more she became absorbed in the history of Fife and her affinity for the area grew.

As you read on you may find yourself ‘walking beside Diana.’ Her experiences might help you with some of the challenges you face in your own life, or they may inspire you to visit the region of Fife and have adventures of your own. Some would call this an allegory but it is certainly a memoir with elements of fantasy. Diana leaves the reader to judge which is which.

Part 1: From Redundancy to Rejuvenation

Serendipity! Diana’s husband’s job temporarily located them to Fife, at the same time as Diana was made redundant from a life time of teaching.

Part 2: Letting Go and Moving on

In order to live her new life to the full, Diana needed to truly let go of much of her old life. That did not mean forgetting her friends and family but finding a new and deeper relationship with them, even at a distance. As she and her husband threw themselves into a community life in Fife, deep down Diana was still searching for her true purpose and with the encouragement of new and old friends alike she ….

ISBN 9780993260834

The Healing Paths of Fife will be available as a paperback through Amazon by the end of April.

 

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Novels in Crime Week Day 4 ~ Roderick Hart


Roderick Hart

Roderick Hart ~ ‘Time to Talk’

If TME Walsh in my last post was one end of the crime spectrum, the gritty end, Roderick Hart’s ‘Time to Talk’ is at the opposite. It is written like a memoir of someone setting up a psychotherapy business, written in the first person, and you are with the writer all the way as Max describes the less conventional way in which he decides to establish his practice and the unusual characters he meets. That is, until the law decides he is covering up involvement in serious crime. Here is a review for ‘Time to Talk‘ on Amazon:

“A Time to Talk is written in the style of a memoir and the voice is engaging, with a delightful turn

of phrase and an often original way with language.

Time to Talk on Kindle

Time to Talk on Kindle

There is also a self-deprecating tone, which allows the reader to feel both sympathy with the narrator and mild exasperation as he flounders among the ‘slings and arrows’. Max Frei, a freelance counsellor with nothing but the good intentions with regard to his clients, finds himself in conflict with the law and in debates with not only experts in his own area, but criminals outside it. All of this is accompanied by his bewildered but happy reactions to his own love affair. The story is told at a gentle pace giving the Max plenty of time for introspection, while events unfold around him.

Within this story there is much debate about the serious subject of mental health and the treatments available, but all told with humour and insight that I found refreshing. It is rare to find such such serious debates tackled in such a light conversational tone and accompanied by laughter.

I wish Roderick Hart every success with this novel and look forward to reading other books by him in the future.

Roderick can be found on Goodreads and Linkedin

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