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Rosie Canning "Rosie Canning" (UK)

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Butterfly Fish (shortlisted for Betty Trask Prize)
Butterfly Fish (shortlisted for Betty Trask Prize)
Price: £4.07

5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful narrative, 28 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
What a read, what an author. The words, images, the powerful narrative. Overwhelmed. Amazing narrative. Irenosen is going to be huge in the future, a very talented writer. I don't know how I'm going to do justice to this review. The voices are so lifelike and believable. Okojie has captured those old African voices. The Benin story is told as if from long ago almost as if through the ghost of Adesua. The setting, narrative, colour, description, is so realistic. I felt the warmth, the sun beating down, the fear, the metaphors and the craziness. And back in London, the slow deterioration of Joy's mental health sees a slow descent into madness but illustrated with such clarity. It's almost like three books in one, but the stories are inextricably linked.


But We All Shine On
But We All Shine On
by Paolo Hewitt
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Crazy Diamonds, 20 Jan. 2015
This review is from: But We All Shine On (Paperback)
Almost immediately Paolo tells us that his ‘children’s home was tinged with blackness but it also had light, colour and adventure’. What that tells the reader is that this story will be an unbiased account – he will share the good times and the not so good. It is like a pact.

Paolo’s truth takes us backwards and forwards in time as he searches for some of the children he grew up with. He explains that there is a strong bond between children in care, they form their own family amongst themselves trying to compensate for that which has been taken away. It is a transitory family, no one quite knowing how long they will be there and often never seeing the care brother or sister ever again. Ties are strong and ties are broken but you never forget.

Paolo writes of how care children live in the present, they don’t talk about their pasts. He is an ‘author in search of character[s]’ and they come from their future to talk about their pasts with an openess and honesty that at times is overwhelming. There is sadness, great love and happiness, there is anger, violence, terror, misunderstandings and neglect. There is abusive behaviour by staff and families. There is also care and support where the young people learn about life and how to protect themselves. There are echoes from the seventies and early eighties, there are the clothes, the love of music and the girls.

Paolo represents his care leavers as unique people, as successes, as people with such depth and humanity that the words slice into their broken childhoods and create alchemical healing and wholeness. His characters share their stories, each one a hero; finding love, finding peace, finding themselves. And in amongst the chaos, is that diamond, Paolo himself, sharing his memories about his brothers, sharing his sadness and humour, sharing his insights into his own life and his own difficulties made just a little easier by his relationship with God. He is a seasoned writer, having over twenty books, spanning music, fashion, sport and memoir. All his loves are interwoven into the musical score of this hard rock homelife, that flutuates with melodic yearnings and a creates an unforgettable refrain.

Keep singing those songs Paolo. The window is open, the birds are singing, the air is fresh and free.


Steering the Mothership: The Complexities of Mothering
Steering the Mothership: The Complexities of Mothering
by Lisa Cherry
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like a Duck to Water, 19 May 2014
I was very proud to contribute to this book about mothering. There are many stories from all sorts of mothers, there is no one formula for 'mum', they come in all shapes and sizes and varieties. It is an interesting read, a moving read and a read full of compassion for those mothers lost and found and in some instances lost again. Being a mother is not always as simple as a duck floating on water, for anyone interested in the complicated role of mother and mothering, this book will help.


Family Likeness
Family Likeness
by Caitlin Davies
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Place of Belonging, 11 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Family Likeness (Hardcover)
Whilst reading this book I found myself going on a journey with two very different characters. Muriel who expected very little from life and Rosie who expected so much. I loved the way bits of Muriel's 'branch home report', are announced at the beginning of her chapers, they felt so familiar as were the questions: 'How can you know who you take after when you are brought up in a children's home?' Much of Muriel's story resonated with my own background in care. I appreciate the amount of research by Caitlin Davies who has created such lifelike characters. The story for me is all about belonging, even though Rosie has a loving mother, the loss in her life sends her spiralling out of control and into the lives of grieving children who are also searching for a place or person they can identify with. Filled with poignant scenes, this book will stay on my favourites' shelf.


Short Stories for Busy Adults
Short Stories for Busy Adults
Price: £1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent collection, 20 Aug. 2013
What I loved about this collection of short stories was the inventiveness and refreshing ideas, which I had not come across before. The voices were all new and fresh and the narrative zipped along. Funny, imaginative, scary, unusual - a social commentator without the direct action. My personal favourite was 'The Repossession', so sad I cried but full of joy by the end of the story.


Greenacre Writers Anthology: Volume 2
Greenacre Writers Anthology: Volume 2
by Rosie Canning
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eclectic mix, 20 Aug. 2013
What I like about this collection of short stories is the variety. Love, Hope, Humour,Remembrance, and more. Includes winners of the short story annual competition as well as stories written by members of award-winning Greenacre Writers. Would make a nice present for all ages.
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Fifty-One Moves
Fifty-One Moves
by Ben Ashcroft
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 Moves is the CRIME, 20 Jun. 2013
This review is from: Fifty-One Moves (Paperback)
This is a 'moving' story of a young boy who was unprotected and failed by those in power. Unfortunately Ben's story is one we're all too familiar with. In my view, the fifty-one moves this young boy had to contend with is the crime. Yet it is Ben who ended up the criminal. Why do so many kids that are in care end up in prison? This book is an honest insight into why this happens. It is a cry for help but not for Ben who has turned his life around, but for those children that are in care and in pain, now, today, everyday. Social Care, Crown Prosecution, Penal system, school teachers, everyone in these work environments should read this book and figure out a better way to help young people who need specialist care and love instead of punishing them for the neglect of their parents. It is not an easy read (emotionally) but it is a worthwhile read with a hugely positive outcome.


The Seven Sisters
The Seven Sisters
by Alex Wheatle
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Crying Freedom, 29 April 2013
This review is from: The Seven Sisters (Paperback)
Children don't play outside anymore. But in this book they still do. Alex Wheatle has captured that bygone era when children had freedom to roam and play in the streets, woods and fields. A sort of Lord of the Flies story but with the horrifying reality of what some children in care have had to face while being looked after by their supposed carers. This story has you biting finger and toe nails, keeps you glued to the end. The 1970s have been captured perfectly with little details the whole way through. More than this, as well as the strong friendship between the boys, there is truly moving emotive narrative that has you crying one moment and laughing the next.


The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry
The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry
by Rachel Joyce
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.19

5.0 out of 5 stars The pain of living vs the joy of loving, 23 Feb. 2013
Seems I'm review number 512! At times I was reminded of 'The Woman who went to Bed for a Year', both protagonists set out on a journey, seemingly so engrossed in themselves that they never really have any idea of the immense pain their journey causes the people around them. This is not to say that I didn't find Harold's story uplifting, I did and almost immediately wanted to set out on my own journey and walk in Harold's footsteps from Devon to Berwick upon Tweed. I wanted to feel the pain and joy of achieving all those miles walked. I'm considering my own pilgrimage one day. From the first to the final sentence, this book really was inspirational. Friendship, love, loss, grief, hope, happiness, friendship, and betrayal, it has it all. Rachel Joyce seems to have captured the pain, hope, and joy of the human condition almost perfectly.


Dreamtime: A History, Mythology, Physiology and Guide to the Interpretation of Dreams
Dreamtime: A History, Mythology, Physiology and Guide to the Interpretation of Dreams
by Linda Louisa Dell
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting read, 17 Aug. 2010
This is a fascinating book, well researched covering everything you have ever wanted to know about dreams and dreaming: dream research; psychology of dreaming; self-help and interpretation; insomnia; dreaming and drugs; nightmares; dream diaries; healing; astral travel; dream pillows and much, much, more. This is a book that can be used over and over again, a worthwhile additition to any household.


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