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Just Me [Paperback]

Sheila Hancock
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Kindle Edition 3.80  
Hardcover --  
Paperback 6.29  
Audio, CD, Audiobook 14.89  
Audio Download, Abridged 10.40 or Free with Audible.co.uk 30-day free trial

Book Description

18 April 2009
'Well now, prove it, Sheila. As John would say, "Put your money where your mouth is." Be a depressed widow boring the arse off everyone, or get on with life. Your choice.' In The Two of Us Sheila relived her life with John Thaw - years packed with love and family, delight and despair. And then she looked ahead. What next? Gardening, grannying and grumbling, while they all had their pleasures, weren't going to fill the aching void that John had left. 'Live adventurously', a Quaker advice, was hovering around her brain. Putting her and John's much loved house in France on the market she embarked on a series of journeys. She tried holidaying alone, contending with invisibility and budget flights. She tried travelling in a group, but the questions she wanted to ask were never the ones the guide wanted to answer. She tried relaxing - harder than you might think. Finally, heading out of her comfort zone, she found her travels, and the things she discovered, led her back to her past; to consider her generation - the last to experience the Second World War - and the kind of person it made her. Just Me is a book about moving on, but it is also about looking back, and looking anew. Sheila, whether facing down burglars and Easyjet staff or making friends with waiters and taxi drivers, whether unearthing secrets in Budapest, getting arrested in Thailand, exulting in the art of Venice or searching for a decent cup of coffee in Dorset, is never less than stimulating company. Honest - because if you can't say what you think at seventy-three, when can you? - insightful and wonderfully down to earth, she is a woman seizing the future with wit, gusto and curiosity, on her own.

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Just Me + The Two of Us: My Life with John Thaw
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (18 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747598509
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747598503
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sarah Raven is a broadcaster, teacher and writer. She has made regular appearances on Gardeners' World, the BBC's flagship gardening programme; she runs her own cookery and gardening school at Perch Hill in East Sussex; and she is the author of The Cutting Garden, Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook (which was the Guild of Food Writers Cookery Book of the Year 2008) and Sarah Raven's Complete Christmas.
Jonathan Buckley specialises in garden and plant photography and has been working with Sarah Raven, taking photographs at Perch Hill, for ten years. He was awarded the title Garden Writers' Guild Features Photographer of the Year in 2004.

Product Description


'Heartbreakingly moving wise, funny and deeply touching' Daily Mail 'The thousands of people - many of them widows - will again find solace and comfort in what she has to tell them. But so will many others - those who warm to her gift for directly communicating the open-heartedness and spirit of adventure with which she confronts her life It is the stuff of bestsellers' Joan Bakewell, Guardian 'A bright, often witty account of a life moving forward. She tells her story with youthful vigour' Woman's Weekly 'Glorious' Paul O'Grady


'Written with wit, warmth and insight, Sheila's new book describes moving on, looking at life anew, as well as looking back.' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I would give this 50 stars if I could! 16 Jan 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I loved `The Two of Us', Sheila's autobiography of her life with John Thaw, and felt doubtful that she could recreate the warmth and quality of this book in a volume entirely about herself and her dealings with widowhood. However, I've never been more wrong - this is an honest, enlightening account of her experiences as a widow, which has inspired me more than any other book I have ever read. Sheila's spirit, her vivacity and sheer courage are alive on every page, and I found myself reading this as slowly as possible, in order to savour every word. It's hard to believe this feisty chick is 75 years old!
This book should be prescribed on the NHS to the depressed, the recently-bereaved and the down-at-heart, as it's more soul-soothing than any self-help book. Please carry on writing Sheila; you're as good an author as you are an actress!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book... 6 April 2009
Having read 'The Two of Us" and loved Sheila's writing, I had to read this too and it is joy. My heart broke for her all over again on several occasions and I did hug my husband more tightly after reading it.
But this is not just about widowhood, although it would be so very helpful to someone in that situation.
Sheila has such a light touch and her intelligence, sensitivity and sense of fun leap from the page.
Don't be put off by thinking this is a depressing book about a widow - it is so much more than that. It is by turns heartbreaking, thought provoking, informative, inspirational and ultimately, uplifting.
Thank you Sheila for a beautifully written, highly enjoyable book. xxx
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76 of 81 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How to overcome widowhood 25 Sep 2008
This account by Sheila Hancock of how she coped with widowhood is honest, gripping and nicely-written.
I am not sure who it is intended for....other widows, perhaps, who might (while they are reading this) aquire a little of Mrs Thaw's courage in getting out there after deciding that life, what's left of it, is worth living after all.
It might help other women who find themselves in her situation.
And any single person who travels will sympathise and identify with her graphic account of how it feels to walk into a hotel restaurant for dinner and a table for one. (Take a book!)
I think she's gutsy, and a good writer.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much More Than Mrs Thaw 29 Oct 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Authors reading their own work can sometimes be a mistake, but not in this case.

Sheila Hancock delivers her words as if she is saying them for the first time, giving me, the listener, the sort of intimate experience the work deserves. It is like listening to an audio letter from an old, dear friend.

There is much more to this than simply learning to go on holiday or eat in a restart alone - as much of the publicity surrounding the launch suggested - and it will bear repeat listening.

She is clearly a very interesting, intelligent woman, not something you can say about all actresses, and her tales of times old and recent make up a revealing, but definitely not sensationalistic, picture of someone I wished I'd known better before.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book 12 Jan 2009
I bought this book recently and read it in 3 days - a very good, moving read. I have been to some of the places she mentions in her book and it felt as if I was there with her. Overall a very uplifting book. Thank you Sheila and Good Luck for the future.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Me 18 Feb 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Following "The Two of US", "Just Me" is real heart to heart, but not on sleeve stuff! Sheila puts into words such pain and feelings experienced by all (and we all do) going through bereavement, without condescention, negative self-pity, and with very positive and supportive confirmation... I don't think she set out to be a psychiatric social worker, but nobody does it better!
An interesting history and biography, with healing between the lines!
Well done Sheila!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More to life 16 Feb 2009
There is more to Miss Hancock than simply being Mrs Thaw. If you want a kiss & tell celeb biog don't bother reading this. If you want intelligent writing & interesting reading I would recommend this book. Sheila Hancock reveals the person behind the public persona - you see who she is rather than what she does. The book follows her travels to places of personal significance, the emotional ups & downs, the people she meets. She is very honest about her feelings, which can't have been easy at times. I hope her autobiography turns into a trilogy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book 1 Mar 2009
I really enjoyed this book by Sheila Hancock, all the places she travelled to, I believe the reader is on that travel journey.

Provence sounded very nice and telling us about Milan I thought was great.

Of course Sheila had appeared on the BBC 2 programme called WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE and that was real good television. So as I read about Milan and Bexleyheath I could picture in my mind all these things that had been featured in the BBC 2 programme.

As you know Sheila's husband was the actor John Thaw who appeared in a lot of programmes and I thought he was a brilliant actor.

Sheila has many talents and I hope that she will write another book very soon.

I've given the book five stars I think it deserves a lot more than that and for anyone who has not read the book then you are in for a good read.

One word sums it up - Fantastic and all the best to Sheila.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The brilliant Sheila Hancock
I read Sheila's first book about her life with John Thaw. This book is about her life on her own. It is so good I couldn't put it down. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jax
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you
Thank you! I am enjoying the book very much and it is everything I hoped it would be! Very many thanks.
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. M. Daly
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for me.
I think I was hoping for something different in this book so was disappointed at the large amount of it dedicated to Sheila's wartime memories. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jane M. Cox
4.0 out of 5 stars Just me book
Arrived on time and was well packaged. Was bought for a friend and had been trying to find it for some time. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Carol Cole
4.0 out of 5 stars Written with honesty and feeling ...
Written with honesty and feeling, you're with Sheila on every step of the journey ... even when she wants to be on her own! Read more
Published 8 months ago by JulieC
5.0 out of 5 stars I read this in a night
Beautifully written. I am halfway though my third reading of it. A classic; it would make a great gift for someone
Published 8 months ago by Anne Geraghty
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Me. Sheila Hancock.
The book delivered on time and was in good order. I sent it to a friend to help her with her grieving - this book helped me.
Published 8 months ago by pbpdyer-lynch
5.0 out of 5 stars just lovely
I read this straight after Just the Two of Us because I didn't want to stop finding out what happened. Read more
Published 12 months ago by kate
3.0 out of 5 stars Just Me , by Sheila Hancock.
I bought this book because I too have recently been bereaved, I have read her other book ; The two of us". Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mrs. Sabiha Ahmed
4.0 out of 5 stars Where next
What a beautiful book. I thought it would be a sad soliloquy but found I was wrong. The book is so refreshing and Sheila inspires us all to take advancing years another opportunity... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Annie Haughey
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