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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Female Authors





It is our mission to attract MORE FEMALE AUTHORS in 2014.

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Life Saver - Life Changer describes the development of Taunton Women's Refuge from its inception to a very well regarded organisation meeting the needs of abused women and their children.
In Taunton three separate groups of women, politicians, feminists and the church, sat down in the middle of the 1970s to discuss issues being thrown up by the social upheaval of that time. Domestic abuse had come out from behind closed doors and was demanding a response. The three groups soon joined forces and set up Taunton Women's Refuge. From the start the refuge was fully occupied but was always living a hand to mouth existence.
Volunteers came and went but after 10 years of 'mucking in' it became clear that a much more structured approach was necessary if they were not all to be worn out.
Women were recruited actively to manage the refuge, to encourage staff with proper employment conditions and take advantage of the change of attitudes to domestic abuse to move the organisation forward. The book charts these changes over 30 years. The Management committee oversaw the policy and finance of the organisation whilst staff engaged with abused women and helped them to find solutions to their plight. The abiding characteristics of the refuge arc the appreciation of the women who receive its service and the continuing support of the local community, who are generous in so many different ways.
Jean Hole was one of the founders of Taunton Women's Refuge, a Taunton Deane Borough Councillor from 1979 -1999 and the Mayor of Taunton Deane in 1995/96. She was also a member of the board of Taunton Association for the Homeless 1988-2004.
Jean is a widow and has a grown up daughter and three grown up sons. 



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Dame Margaret Seward
Now available in eBook format. To buy, click on link


Open Wide is an intriguing and entertaining account of a woman who with never failing enthusiasm and an impish sense of humour rose to become the first Dame in her profession.
However you do not have to be a dentist to enjoy this memoir. The story will enthrall you from beginning to end as many famous people have crossed her path; royalty, political leaders and, film stars and these encounters provide amusing anecdotes. With candour she movingly lifts the veil on previously undisclosed events in her personal life following the early death of her father and tells how she secured top jobs through unconventional selection procedures. For the first time she gives fascinating insights into the inner workings of organizations with which she has been associated and acknowledges that nothing could have been achieved without the support of family, friends and colleagues.
Dame Margaret recounts her experience of juggling her career and bringing up children and comes up with some innovative ideas for returning to work. There can be few landmark events in the contemporary UK dental political scene that have escaped her involvement so even when you have finished reading the book you will have plenty to think about. 

Author

Born in Weymouth, Margaret Seward received her schooling at Palmers Green High School and The Latymer School in Edmonton before going to The London Hospital in Whitechapel where she graduated as a dentist. Appointed in charge of the dental unit at Highlands Hospital in North London she had responsibility for treating long-stay patients whose plight was captured in the film Awakenings starring Robert de Niro.
She became editor of the British Dental Journal and during a period of 13 years restructured it to become relevant to general practitioners. She was also editor for 10 years of the International Dental Journal which is the mouthpiece of the World Dental Federation.
Dame Margaret a former President of the British Dental Association, became the first woman to be elected to the dentists governing body  the General Dental Council going on to become its first President. Her record of leadership was sealed when appointed chief dental officer at the Department of Health. She has published and lectured extensively at home and abroad, received numerous awards and honorary degrees and in 1999 became the first ever Dame in dentistry.
She is married to Professor Gordon Seward CBE and has a daughter, son and 2 grandchildren.


REVIEWS

The Memoir is truly a remarkable story of a remarkable couple. 
British Dental Journal


Dame Margaret Seward is surely one of the world's most accomplished and best-known dentists

BDA News  




DAME MARGARET SEWARD (q BDS, The London, 1959) has written her memoirs, Open Wide: Memoir of the Dental Dame. Her condour, humour and never failing enthusiasm illuminated many of the landmark events both in her life and the contemporary UK dental political scene and make Open Wide a most enjoyable read. 

The London Hospital Dental Club 



This book has succeeded in giving a well balanced and, as far as is possible in an autobiography, objective view of a unique career in dentistry that provides fascinating insights into both Dame Margaret's personal life and the changes that have taken place in British dentistry during her lifetime.

Primary Dental Care Journal 



The book is a fascinating read that makes the anecdotes about eminent names in dentistry and politics worth the price of admission alone. 

Dental Practice Magazine  




This is story of someone who has done a great deal of good in the world and was a pioneer in the field of dentistry and a guardian of standards. 

Latymer Alumni Newsletter



This book is more than an accurate history. It is an excellent read, a real page turner. 

Dental Update



What makes this book absolutely fascinating is that it is so easy to read, because it is written in a style that mirrors her own relaxed personality. I guarantee you will find it hard to put down. I strongly recommend that you buy a copy. You will, as I did, enjoy every page. 

Private Dentistry 



This is partly due to her literacy skills - she knows how to tell a good story - and partly a reflection of her vivacious personality. 

News from BOS Caroline Holland 



Recognition notwithstanding, this autobiography stands out also for its many heartfelt accounts of Dame Seward's personal relationships with family, friends, colleagues, patients, and acquaintances.

Journal of the 
Massachussetts Dental Society


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Sister Giles

The End and The Beginning now available in eBook format: To buy click on the link. Amazon Kindle 
The End and The Beginning is a fascinating memoir of the later part of Sister Giles life. It relates the unexpected, often humorous, journey from an enclosed community to the secular world, without in any way jeopardising Sister Giles sense of vocation.In the early chapters the author touches briefly on her life as a nun in an enclosed order and the reader is given an insight into the austere regime of such a vocation. She is later given leave of absence when a friend asks her help to set up a retreat and Sister Giles is surprised to discover that she is called upon to offer succour in a much wider circle than she could have foreseen.
The author discovers a whole new way of life outside the order; she learns to drive, visits the hairdressers and discovers supermarkets. But there comes a time when she has to make a painful decision: should she leave her order permanently? Fortunately there had been a change in Canon Law some years previously which meant that she could ‘remain consecrated, yet released from community life.’ After three days she decided to remain in the secular world.
This is a story of courage, of the power of prayer and of a nun’s devotion to what she perceived as her duty to others in need of help. A combination of direct conversation, humour and eloquent descriptive passages means that the reader is taken with Sister Giles through her life story.
This is a unique story of an unusual person whose life is lived for other people.

REVIEW

An Amazing Woman- Having trained at the Webber School of acting then became a Nun. After 20 years in a contemplative community she came into the outside world to look after those who needed affection, nursing. This account is written with humour with understanding & one is never felt to be in any way a lesser mortal for failing in ones own way of life. Strongly recommended to be read - not just once but again & again.

Elspeth (Hampshire, UK)




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Circle Completed now available in eBook format: To buy click on the link.

When she left the convent she had called home for almost a quarter of a century, Sister Giles faced many challenges as she readjusted to life in the secular world. Constantly surprised and moved by acts of kindness, she was able to make a new life for herself, all the while preserving strong bonds with her order and never losing her sense of vocation.

In her follow-up to The End and The Beginning, Sister Giles celebrates the simple pleasures of the day to day and reminds us to value and appreciate the things that we all too often take for granted. A constant theme of Circle Completed is love - love of God, love of each other, love of life. Sister Giles’ love for others leaps from the page as she eloquently creates portraits of some of the people that have been important to her. Their stories are valued and shared.
Written with compassion and a warm sense of humour, this is an elegant, thoughtful and at times poignant book. It is also a reminder of the richness and fullness that life has to offer, if only we take the time to look for it.

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Norinka Ford
The Flowing Line now available in eBook format: Amazon Kindle

What the author said about The Memoir Club:

I would like to thank Lynn Davidson of The Memoir Club for helping me make a long-held dream – to write a book – come true.

Writing a book can be a lonely business but I have been fortunate in having an outstanding editor, Dr Jennifer Soutter, to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude. She has so wisely led a novice like me by the hand and with patience and encouragement guided me through the long journey as this book took shape and developed into something far larger and more ambitious than I had originally envisaged. It has been a great pleasure and a privilege to work with her.

Foreword written by Tom Newton-Dunn.

Norinka captures the fascinating story of her family from Hungary, a story moulded and shaped by the history of the twentieth century. The reader is transported back to the dark days of World War II.  

Norinka was able to travel extensively as a consequence of her father's diplomatic career and as a result we are given tantalizing glimpses of the various countries that she has lived in, countries as diverse as Iraq, Syria, Chile, Norway, India, and Brazil. 

This book is a unique family history. 

REVIEWS

Many, many congratulations Norinka. I thought it was absolutely wonderful. I am astounded at the amount of research that you must have done, and indeed at the excellence of the memories of some of the older relatives that you must have interviewed. The book combines very successfully so  many different aspects - family history and events, a near travel book, a political and social commentary on many places, a poetry anthology, and a near global survey of art and architecture, with many shrewd and perceptive comments. I thought we knew you both well and therefore that we knew the main features of your lives, but the book brought out all sorts of things of which I was only partly aware (eg the extent of your Father's diplomatic career) or of which I knew nothing (e.g. the eminence of your family in Hungary). And all so very well written. It is not at all a superficial book: it is a very solid read, and a very rewarding one. I do hope you have sold lots of copies. It is a book that deserves great success.
Sir Peter Heap


The Flowing Line is not only an absorbing family history but an evocative journey through diverse lands and different eras. The place and moment I most identify with is Syria at the start of the 1950s when, though neither of us knew it, Norinka Ford and I were both little girls within the small diplomatic community of Damascus. The magic of that ancient city has remained to this day in both of us.
Josceline Dimbleby, Author

Norinka’s work is unique in two respects. Not only does it straddle two such seismic world events across two different centuries, but it also unites them with real people’s lives. These stories deserve to be told, as they are in this book. If they are not, they will be lost. 

 Tom Newton Dunn, Award-Winning Journalist, The Sun



Norinka Ford has written a beautiful and moving account of her family's dramatic history and of her own action-packed life. Weaving together her families' memories with her own, she describes with great narrative skill their stories throughout the tumultuous events of the twentieth century, as well as telling of their new lives in a vividly and lovingly described Brazil. This book will be a precious and inspiring record. 
Liz Calder, Publisher



I have been so much enjoying reading some of your book over the weekend and really enjoying it.  You have done so much research and combined with your own memories and own experiences of fascinating countries and cultures, it is truly a beautiful book.  You have a lovely eye for detail and your chapter about Kilgraston which I have just skimmed through is most perceptive and sympathetic.  I also love your very varied poetry quotations.
Kilgraston School

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Joan Bright Astley

Many women played a remarkable part during the Second World War, but certainly few more remarkable than Mrs Astley. Her many friends in the Allied countries knew her as Joan Bright in those days – for they preceded her marriage. She performed two outstanding tasks for Britain and the anti-Nazi combination.  First, working in the office of General Ismay, who as Chief of Staff to Churchill as Minister of Defence was the lynch-pin of the British military effort, she organized and maintained a highly confidential service of information to the Commanders in the field, which enabled them to keep themselves ‘briefed’ on the secrets of what was happening or to happen. It became habitual for, say, Wavell just back from the desert to drop into Joan Bright’s information room to ‘put himself in the picture’. Thus she was able to observe from a very special angle, and on terms of mutual confidence, most of Britain’s leading men-of-war.

Secondly, as the war rolled on and the great Allied conferences burgeoned, it became her function to make in advance the ‘housekeeping’ arrangements – what General slept where, how the thousand necessities required for the domestic ordering of such affairs would be supplied, and so on. Thus again she was able to observe at close range the men taking part in the great debates – Americans and Russians as well as her own people: to become their friend and discover their strengths and weaknesses as human beings: to see the Conferences at Washington, Quebec, Teheran, Yalta, and Potsdam from the inside and at first hand.  Nobody reading this book can fail to observe those qualities of intelligence, tact and warmth of personality which placed Joan Bright in this, unique and enviable position. 


Mrs Astley was believed to be one of the three or four women who was used for the character of Miss Moneypenny. To find out more click on the links below:


REVIEWS:

Telegraph Review
The Independent Review
The Times Review
Financial Times Review
The Spectator Review


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Joan Pye
Atoms for Peace is a remarkable book. It traces the pattern of Joan Pye’s interesting life.

Her time as Personal Assistant to Sir John Cockcroft, O.M., F.R.S (first Director of the Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Harwell,) equipped Joan ideally for her current mission. She started the “Joan Pye Project” in 2004. The project’s mission is “Energy for the Next Generation”, that is, to broadcast the truth about civil nuclear power to as wide an audience as possible, and Joan has devoted her life to this work.

She has interspersed this account with memories of her many adventures outside the world of nuclear physics. These include receiving reports from Allied Agents behind enemy lines in World War II, and forwarding these as necessary to the relevant Government departments. Included also is her account of sponsoring the education of two Kenyan boys who now support their own families. As such the book is not only aimed at readers with a scientific background, but will be enjoyed by all who read it.


“Since its inception in 2004 the Joan Pye Project has been a supporter of the British Nuclear Energy Society, and more recently the newly formed Nuclear Institute. Many of the charitable initiatives undertaken by both bodies would have not been possible without this support for which the bodies, the recipients and industry is suitably grateful.

This book reflects a long and interesting life and shows clearly Joan’s commitment to many strongly held ideals, respected by all who are fortunate enough to come into contact with her.”
Mark Askew
Secretary General
The Nuclear Institute

Author
Joan Pye has had a rich and varied life. Brought up in Suffolk, she was educated at the Royal School, Bath. During the Second World War, Joan worked for MI5, receiving reports from Allied Agents behind enemy lines. She gained employment with the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, and has maintained involvement in the field of nuclear power ever since. In 2004 this led to the creation of the “Joan Pye Project”, an organization dedicated to promoting the peaceful use of atomic energy. A keen sailor, mountaineer, art appreciator and horse-rider, she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Institution of Nuclear Engineers (renamed the ‘Nuclear Institute’) at the age of 88. Joan is now 93 and still active.

Sir Christopher Audland KCMG
Director-General for Energy,
European Commission, 1981-86

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Smiling in the Darkness is now available in Kindle: Amazon Kindle

Isobel was first diagnosed with cervical cancer at the age of 28. Her only option was to have a radical hysterectomy. 



But a few years later, while training for the London Marathon, Isobel suffered pain in her groin and abdomen. Soon after a tumour was discovered in her appendix and surgeons had to remove her fallopian tube, remaining ovary and appendix.



After being given the all clear, ten years later she was told she had cancer again. Isobel had already had so much radiotherapy that any more would have caused too much tissue damage. Her only option was really radical surgery to remove her bowel and bladder.



Now over a decade later her past traumas have returned to haunt her. In this powerful story, Isobel's determination shines through as she succeeds in living her life to the full. We read about her journey, ranging from skiing to white water rafting incidents through to major life saving surgery.

Isobel supports a Cambodian orphanage and regularly visits the children there. She includes a chapter in the book and is also donating 10% of the proceeds to the orphanage. 

On 24th June 2012, Isobel Bradley launched and ran the 5 kilometer Race for Life at the Pitchcroft Racecourse in Worcester. In the Worcester News, she explains what the future may hold for her:


“I’ve been given a 50/50 chance of surviving for five years. That sounds terrible, but I just want to live my life to the full, however long it turns out to be. I feel well, and I’m determined not to let this colostomy bag stop me doing anything. My life has been so dramatic that I wanted to share my experiences. I want people to know that you can carry on and have a great and enjoyable life even when everything seems to be against you.”

Her husband, Mike Bradley also added:

"There have been some very difficult times but the most amazing thing about Isobel is the way she keeps bouncing back. She's an inspiration and I am so proud of her for taking part in Race for Life."

REVIEWS



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Available on the internet go to link


Jean McMillan

Jean McMillan has had a rich and varied life. Born in North Wales; she lived a happy childhood before going on to study medicine at the Royal Free Hospital. She worked as a GP in several practices around the country and currently enjoys lecturing about her foreign travels to local groups and is also active in village life in Burley in the New Forest, Hampshire.



Jean Watkins has had a rich and varied life. Born in North Wales; her happy childhood in Blackheath, South East London was interrupted by forced evacuation to Cumbria during the Second World War. She studied medicine at the Royal Free Hospital where she developed a keen interest in sport becoming British Junior Squash Champion in 1951. She worked as a GP in several practices around the country and currently enjoys lecturing about her foreign travels to local groups and is also active in village life in Burley in the New Forest, Hampshire. 




When Jean first visited China in 1978 she had no idea on the impact it would have on her life and the enthusiasm for other cultures that would be inspired in her, going so far as to return to twenty years later to observe the changes the culture had undergone. in between those trips she thoroughly explored areas of Africa, America and Asia; all of which she would return to again later in the interest of learning more from the people there, and eventually travelling on to Europe and the Middle East. An enthralling and enlightening read, Itchy Feet will leave you with a thirst for experience around the globe. 

We all hope Jean will carry on with her captivating travels and continue to inform us of these fascinating ways of life.


Foreword by Jon Baines

Jean McMillan has travelled with me regularly since 1995. I am a tour operator and ran many of the trips featured in Itchy Feet. Having organised many tours over many years you learn that the variety in destinations and cultures is matched by the variety of those travelling.
There are many types of traveller. Many are looking for adventure or to escape from their less exciting day to day lives, for others it is to fulfill a life-long dream to visit a particular place or see a particular site.   But for some it is to broaden their horizons and to learn and absorb from other cultures. Jean with her insatiable curiosity, enquiring mind and wide range of interests definitely falls into the latter camp.
A regular traveller, there is no bias or preference to where or how Jean travels. It could be by bus through rural Bulgaria, a light plane to southern Venezuela, the Shanghai express or by canoe along a tributary of the Amazon. Jean is equally at home in a grand Hotel in Cape Town as she is in a rest house in the Tibetan lowlands.
What makes a tour special for Jean is meeting the local people, seeing how they live, learning of their health care, education, hopes and fears for the future and for their children’s future. There is no starry eyed enthusiasm for the simple lives of the people. Having practiced medicine as a GP Jean knows the stresses and realities of life. Many will visit a destination and enjoy its wonderful scenery, its art and architecture and history.   For Jean the experience should be deeper it should tell us of how a country really is for the majority of the people who live there. I do not envy the guides on a tour Jean travels on. There will be steady stream of enquiring questions and brush-offs will not be tolerated!
Many is the time when planning a tour I have contacted Jean for her advice, and she will tell me to include a community centre, a rural clinic or school, that we need to meet the locals and be able to spend time with them.
Travelling to so many countries over the years has allowed Jean to cut through the accepted view of national progress. Her perceptive mind and experience allows her to see through the shiny symbols of modernity to the more fundamental aspects of a society – how it cares for its sick, elderly and children. In this sense Jean follows in the grand traditional of travellers from Marco Polo to Freya Stark. Her writing provides a snap shot of real life, all around the world over many years, making Itchy Feet a fascinating, informative and revealing book.

Part family history, part personal memoir and part travelogue, Lucky Genes is a unique book and one that deserves a wide readership. Her travels are fondly remembered and eloquently recounted, particularly her first eye-opening and adventurous trip to China in 1978. A reflective and warm-hearted book it is full of interesting anecdotes about family life and foreign travel but also touches on subjects as varied as scientific progress and local history.

Reviews

"I have just completed the first of Jean's books Lucky Genes. Absolutely brilliant insight into the times, changes and lives of others from a time previous to ours. Gratifying and Inspirational. Please feel free to pass this critique on to Jean on my behalf, as the book is now doing the great northern run."


A brilliant review by a local reader who thoroughly enjoyed Jean Watkins 'Lucky Genes' and is now embarking on her more recent title 'Itchy Feet'.


To order Itchy Feet:


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To order Lucky Genes:
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Order both books for £27.95

Carole Bell
A travelogue and professional memoir, this book will appeal to anyone who has an interest in travel to the less well-known corners of Europe, learning about their history and customs, consumer rights and the role of the European Union. It is written not from the usual visitor's perspective but by someone who has worked and lived among people whose country has undergone seismic change. Carole Bell explores the contrasting nature of beautiful cities in Eastern Europe that have been wounded by war, whose citizens have suffered severe hardship yet remain optimistic.


The story begins in 1970 with a unique glimpse of life behind the Iron Curtain when Romania was in the grip of a harsh communist regime. The break-up of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War two decades later paved the way for the restoration of democracy in Eastern Europe. Carole was employed in Trading Standards when she was unexpectedly offered the chance to work in this "New Europe". An assignment in Malta in 2003 led to projects in Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Croatia, Turkey and Lebanon - and a return to Romania. It was an amazing journey and makes a fascinating story. The towns and cities she has visited are described in poetic detail, along with a cast of interesting people she has met.


This truly awe-inspiring book will appeal to man and women who doubt their own abilities to advance in unknown fields - and serves as an excellent travel guide to hidden corners of Europe.


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Olga Rutherford Abrahams
A Geordie in Japan is the extraordinary story of Olga Abrahams and her journey from the North East of England to Japan and back again. A girl from a Northumbria mining village and a staunch atheist until her university years, Olga Abrahams was an unlikely missionary. Christianity led her into teaching and missionary work and in 1952 she left for Japan.

She encountered a nation scarred by the catastrophes of World War II and undergoing a traumatic transition from military imperialism to liberal democracy. Left to fill a spiritual void created by Hirohito's announcement that he was not, in fact, divine, Christian missionaries faced great challenges. Supported by her husband Doug she learned the language, immersed herself in the culture and came to love the country and its people.

Just as Japan changed during her time there, so too did Britain. The country she left in 1952 was almost unrecognisable by 1985 and so Olga's retirement and homecoming meant many readjustments. She threw herself into local politics and was elected as a Councillor in the London Borough of Harrow.

From vivid accounts of childhood amidst the poverty of the Great Depression, wartime teenage years, descriptions of life at Cambridge University, to her time in Japan and her eventual return to the North East, Olga Abrahams certainly has a profound story to tell. A Geordie in Japan will resonate with anyone who has ever been enchanted by other cultures or has found themselves looking at their own from a fresh perspective. It is a moving account of cultural and spiritual discovery that will delight and inform in equal measure.

This book is the life story of an intelligent young Geordie from socialist home, the story of a most unlikely missionary candidate who eventually spent a life time of service in japan - I love the personal and intimate detail and honesty in this book and commend it to those who read this review, as a good read, written for the glory of god, but then, Doug and Olga Abrahams are two of our dearest fellow workers and friends.
 Denis Lane Evangelical news

A Geordie in Japan will resonate with anyone who has ever been enchanted by other cultures or has found themselves looking at their own from a fresh perspective. It is a moving account of cultural and spiritual discovery that will delight and inform in equal measure.

Freelance Market News

God moves in mysterious ways, so it is said, and so it proved for North east woman and communist Olga Rutherford Abrahams. At first a confirmed non-believer, her conversion saw her spend 30 years in post-second world war Japan doing missionary work with her husband, Doug.


Mike Kelly Evening Chronicle

A Tsunami, an Earthquake and a Nuclear Disaster in 2011 threatened catastrophe on a scale Japan has not seen since the end of World War 2. This is the back-drop, to which Olga Abrahams, a former communist and atheist from Newcastle upon Tyne releases her recent autobiography, A Geordie in Japan.

The opening chapters cover her phenomenal journey from her early days living in a mining village in the North East of England, following the death of her father, to her graduation as one of the first women to be awarded a degree from Cambridge University.  

This triumph over adversity would be enough to make for a good read in itself but as a paid-up member of the communist party and staunch atheist, it would be the next part of her story which would prove to be the most transformative. 
Converting to Christianity, Olga became a missionary to Japan and learned fluent Japanese in the aftermath of World War 2.  Then, as now, people asked:


'How can you as a Woman of Science believe in God?' and 'How can you see God’s work through all of this suffering?'
Her measured and subtly emotive book answers these and other tough questions as she takes us on a journey through her remarkable life.  From surviving a crash landing on a flight in North America, to losing her first child and raising another three whilst working for 30 years as a missionary in Asia decades before the days of mobile phones and the internet. 

Olga’s story is a fascinating look at issues, which are as relevant today as they were then. Through personal anecdotes and wider philosophical consideration she unites the juxtaposed settings of her childhood and adult life.  

Motorbike crashes, finding love, swimming in the sea and captaining the Cambridge Hockey team during a resounding victory over Oxford in her youth give way to contemplative moments of reflection which grip the reader with incredible emotional resonance.  The passage in which she quotes verbatim from a letter sent to her by her aging mother (which Olga received overseas only after hearing news of her mother’s death) is a raw and honest example of what a great autobiography can be. 

At a time when religion is publicly derided, when Japan finds itself once again emerging from crisis and when government cuts are hitting areas like Newcastle the hardest, A Geordie in Japan is the poignant, entertaining and heartfelt story of an inspirational woman who has given her life to others in the name of her faith.
The Baptist Times 
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