Latest book...

Are you a writer or a would-be writer? Does travelling or being an expat affect your writing ambitions? Periods away from home seem to inspire people to write, and this forum aims to investigate and encourage that phenomenon. [This forum has been expanded to include discussion about books, authors, and your recommendations.]

Latest book...

Postby Kay » Tue 13 Sep 2005 02:07

The latest book I've just read (and I often read several concurrently depending on my mood) is Sheila Hancock's autobiography of her and her husband's (John Thaw) life together. Forgotten the exact title now and can't be bothered going downstairs for it - The Two of Us?

It was very different from the usual autobiography in that she also wrote about John's life from start to end. It traces both of their childhoods, through adolescence, both marrying other partners, and ultimately falling in love... I won't give you the whole story.

If you're not aware - John Thaw died of cancer a couple of years ago. She, understandably, found it hard to cope. They had been married for a long time by then.

The book is very poignant in bits, but it's Hancock's honesty that really makes it special. I couldn't put it down. She was obviously still raw with grief when she started writing it. Whether time heals or not who can say, but she did start to find the courage to move on and to find some small pleasures in life again.

It's not a feel-good book, but nor is it depressing. It's a story of two lives and how one found it so hard to cope with the grief of bereavement. There isn't a "happy ending" so much as an acceptance. Hancock vehemently rejects the trite things that people often say to those who grieve. She doesn't like people who churn out the usual platitudes.

I would recommend this book as an excellent read. I think there are several people here who might identify with it. I'm fortunate that I personally didn't, but I could certainly empathise.

I originally bought the book because I liked John Thaw and was interested to read about him. By the time I'd finished it, I'd started to care about the people involved.

Maybe I should do a book review for the main site, as this is a book that made me want to tell you about it.
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Postby ruggie » Wed 14 Sep 2005 20:36

Thanks, Kay. I enjoyed John Thaw's acting, and have always had a soft spot for Sheila Hancock. I must keep an eye open for the book.
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