How The Accidental Memoir by Eve Makis and Anthony Cropper is already changing my life

I’ve said that I’m writing and then went quiet. I realise now that I’ve had some major hurdles to leap over in order to trust the process.

Nothing brought that home more than the experience I had last night at the book launch for The Accidental Memoir by Eve Makis and Anthony Cropper at Five Leaves Bookshop.

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The idea for the book came when Eve was looking for a gift for her father. He’d been having a difficult time and she wanted to give him something that would enable him to process what he was experiencing. As an author with decades of teaching creative writing experience, Eve knew that sharing stories can be cathartic but also understood the challenges that many people face when trying to find a way to express them, which is when she had an idea for a brand new way for anyone to tap into their memories and write, especially when they think they can’t write.

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Eve Makis and Anthony Cropper

Eve went to Anthony Cropper with the idea and he was immediately supportive as he too could see the wider benefits of the concept. They developed a prototype and Eve gave it to her dad, saying that if he could do it anyone could.

Then she explained that when her dad was a little boy living in Cyprus he’d been removed from school at a young age to go and be a shepherd. His teacher did plead with his dad not pull him out but to no avail. He came to the UK with his wife after the Turkish invasion of Cyrus in 1974, started a family, ran a chip shop for years and had never written, which is why Eve wanted to find a way to help him to express what was locked away in his memories.

The most incredible moment at the book launch was when Eve’s dad stood up to read Continue reading “How The Accidental Memoir by Eve Makis and Anthony Cropper is already changing my life”

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Review of The Cliff House by Amanda Jennings

I’m still haunted by the final scenes of this atmospheric novel. I can hear the pool Unknown-1 (1)water ripple at The Cliff House and smell the salty air, as the oppressive heat of the day bends to the will of grief with each step into the darkness. Continue reading “Review of The Cliff House by Amanda Jennings”

Review of Come and Find Me by Sarah Hilary

The fifth novel in the series featuring DI Marnie Rome begins with one of the most 51vhVU0xb+Lfast-paced and dramatic scenes to date, as a prison holding her foster brother – Stephen – is on lockdown due to an outbreak of extreme violence. Stephen is in hospital along with other casualties and a prisoner has escaped. The whole event is clinically described by an unnamed prisoner from their hospital bed, emphasising the horror within the chaos. Continue reading “Review of Come and Find Me by Sarah Hilary”

Review of Two Steps Forward by Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist

My first introduction to the Camino de Santiago was when I went to watch The Way starring Martin Sheen with my friend Christine. Both of us felt the pull of the walk by the end of that movie and Christine set about making plans to actually do it, but then her life was ended by illness within a short time of announcing her plans.

Christine’s desire to walk the Camino came flooding back the second I withdrew the advanced review copy of Two Steps Forward by Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist from the envelope, and I couldn’t help smiling and thinking about her, while also feeling sad that she never had the chance to fulfil that last ambition. I wish I could share this book with Christine because she would have loved it as much as I do. Continue reading “Review of Two Steps Forward by Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist”

Review of The Earlie King and the Kid in Yellow by Danny Denton

Here’s a novel that explores the origins of myths, legends and faith through a vision of a dystopian Ireland set sometime far in the future. A rain soaked landscape run by gangsters, despair and relentless misery. A place where a little golden flame of hope flickers in the form of young boy in yellow skins who falls in love with T, the daughter of the Earlie King, and who vows that he will protect T’s child after she dies in childbirth.

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The story is told from three perspectives: Word of Ward – Fran Ward, former officer of the law and the last true Irishman, who is the storyteller and recorder of the events that follow, and contact of O’Casey – the journalist who is determined to record every vicious crime and death at the hands of the Earlie King and his Earlie Boys, despite the fact that no one will have the courage to print it. The second perspective is that of Mr Violence – the ever present voice of death that haunts rain slashed pages and the last comes from The Play – a production set in the lounge bar of the Pit & Pendant Pub, which gives voice to the Early King and his leftenants.

A digital downfall is on the way and the whole of society is crumbling, lost in the war between the Earlie King, the vigilante Vincent Depaul (the pyrotechnic champion of the poor) and the uselessness of the police, known as the Heavies. Independent thought is crowded out by the onslaught of technology and insight is lost along with the illumination of the sun. While the continuing environmental disaster escalates the rot, poisons the fish in the seas and deforms the children. Continue reading “Review of The Earlie King and the Kid in Yellow by Danny Denton”