Shades of Appley Green: A Modern Village Novel Paperback – 1 Feb 2012
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Written by a former Parkinson's UK Information and Support Worker, this is a delightful story with an unexpected ending. It truly captures village life, while in no way distracting you from the main theme of one person's quest for happiness. Through her work with a local charity, the main character Steph is helping a former architect with Parkinson's to regain his social life. The references made to the condition are very accurate: careful research must have been done. While reading, I found myself making a mental note of the priorities involved in caring for someone with Parkinson's. The story gently reminds you that Parkinson's doesn't just go away and, as time passes, decisions and changes have to be made. Reviewer: Alicia, whose husband has Parkinson's --The Parkinson, 2012, magazine of Parkinson's UK
Once again, the book delivers her traditional subtle but hard-hitting punch through a readable and solidly structured narrative that deftly explores the theme of love, bereavement and community .... Wakerly doesn't rely on polemics to drive home a point. She is observational, quietly humorous and occasionally but deliciously cutting, although she shatters the comfort zone by springing the mother of all surprises.' Juliette Foster --Full page review, Book Corner, Surrey Life Magazine Nov 2014
About the Author
Miriam Wakerly has had short stories and articles published in magazines. Her first novel, Gypsies Stop tHere was launched the day after she retired in 2008; No Gypsies Served followed two years later. These two books are also set in Appley Green. Her career history includes teaching, public relations and marketing in the IT industry; and community work. Now retired from work other than writing, she lives in Surrey with her husband. Their three adult children live and work in London. Before retiring she worked for two years with the Parkinson s Society, visiting people in their homes to offer information and support. Miriam Wakerly has a BA Degree in Combined Studies (English, French, Sociology, Politics) from Leicester University. She is a member of the Society of Authors. Find her on Twitter and her blog, Miriam s Ramblings: www.miriamwakerly.blogspot.com
Top Customer Reviews
I became very fond of Steph as the story developed and felt a great empathy for her not only for the difficulties she faced today but for the problems she had had to deal with in the past.
I thought the way Miriam revealed Steph's back story was done brilliantly through diary entries and, without interrupting the flow of the story, expertly showed how these events impacted on Steph's life today.
The twist at the end, I didn't see coming at all and it really made me sit up and think but again, the way this was woven into the story it didn't seem out of place and sat comfortably within the novel.
Miriam Wakerly has a lovely, easy style of writing that draws you into the story and keeps you there at a nice pace. The story touches on difficult issues in a sensitive manner and in a style that is not uncomfortable for the reader. The end, for me, was very emotional and did, in fact, bring a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes. A lovely story of one woman's journey to understanding and accepting her past and ultimately finding an inner-peace and happiness.
This novel focuses on the life of Steph and her family. Miriam has written flash backs to Stephs life that helps us understand her more and she really is an extremely likable lady and you so desperately want her to have the happiness she deserves. The final chapters were very unexpected and added a real twist to the tale! Steph and her children's (Faith and Barnaby) connection with Jackson Jeffrys is truly lovely and I too become `very fond of the old chap! He became more than just her client via Special Support for Seniors, he become a friend to all of them.
Miriam writes with a gorgeous flow and a great depth to her characters with her books and whilst they won't have your windows steaming and champagne flowing, they are very addictive and wonderful to read!
Shades of Appley Green gives you faith in human kindness! Another deeply engaging read by Miriam Wakerly
Thank you so much Miriam for sending me a copy of this book to review, like your previous two, they are all a real pleasure to read.
Overall, she is apleasure to read, taking the line of a positive rather than a negative view of social change, and making sure that her wiley and dishonest charcters do in noindeed have some kind of come-uppance without relying on heavyhandedness or irony. For Wakerly, crime and dishonest dealings are rooted in human fraility, one can only be sorry that these things exist, and encouraging to people who rise above them.
Needless to say, I was a little nervous. I'd loved the previous books because of the writing style, sure, but they'd been sent to me mainly because of my link to Gypsy culture, and I wasn't sure whether I'd like the new one, which has no Romany ties.
Well, I shouldn't have been worried. Predictably, it was excellent.
The book follows the story of Steph, a single mother of two, who is carrying out the dying wish of one of Appley Green's most well-loved residents: to ensure the senior citizens in the village have the help and friendship they both need and deserve. Whilst fulfilling her mission, she befriends one of her clients: Jackson, a famous architect, who quickly takes a prominent position in her life.
As is the way with close-knit country communities, Appley Green has its own trials and triumphs, all of which Steph gets caught up in, to the frustration of Greg, her boss. But when it comes down to it, does Steph have the strength of character to deal with everything life is throwing at her, help all the people she wants to help and still manage to keep her job and family secure?
Wakerly's writing style is, as always, tantalising: the kind of gripping you only normally experience with crime novels. I started reading it on the train home, carried on with a cup of tea on my sofa, ran a bath and finished it by candlelight, with my legs hanging over the edge of the tub. I just couldn't put it down. I think, short of a national emergency, I wouldn't have moved from the bath for anything.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Steph, single mother of two, leads a busy life. One of Appley Green’s residents sends her on a mission to ensure that the senior citizens get all the help and support they need. Read morePublished on 20 May 2014 by Heidi
Appley Green is a charming English village. Everyone says so. But people are still people. With the emotional turmoil that comes with love, birth and death, a close-knit community... Read morePublished on 17 Feb. 2014 by BestChickLit.com
good to read a novel about social care and the older generation with a happy ending and all set in an idyllic English village, if only life was like this.Published on 17 Jun. 2013 by Mrs Susam M Cameron
I was intrigued by the setting of this novel, which is why I chose it when browsing in Camberley Library. Read morePublished on 27 April 2013 by Jean B
I loved this book for all the reasons written about in the other reviews. I work in the field of Parkinson's and it captures the esscence of living with Parkinson's whilst... Read morePublished on 28 Aug. 2012 by C. Bartlett
Steph is a kind, warm hearted, caring young woman. Ted Devonish had seen this and knew she would be the perfect person for his new mission. Read morePublished on 29 July 2012 by Nikki Bywater
I have to say that this book is not my usual genre but I was keen to read it as I had read so many good reviews about it. I was not disappointed. Read morePublished on 25 Jun. 2012 by JB Johnston
In a word I loved it! But that wouldn't be much of a review. Hopefully, I won't let any spoilers out. Read morePublished on 4 April 2012 by Melanie King