Monday, 23 July 2012

Review of Shades of Appley Green - a great honour, in my book!

I could not be more delighted with this brief but perfect review of Shades of Appley Green that appears in a magazine today.

To have this endorsement from such a highly regarded organisation is an accolade of which I am very proud. The Parkinson is the Parkinson's UK quarterly magazine that reaches out to all UK members: friends, family, carers, professionals as well as people who have the condition.

page 34 of The Parkinson
Thanks to Parkinsons UK
It reads:

'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.

Reviewed by Alicia, whose husband has Parkinson's.'

The novel is about many things - life in a village with a diverse mix of characters, one of whom is an elderly gent with Parkinson's. He represents the plight of so many people who are virtually housebound and often socially isolated. The main character, Steph, passionately believes that if something is done about the loneliness, life can be made more bearable.

I drew on my experience and knowledge from working in the community with what was then called the Parkinson's Disease Society and is now Parkinson's UK. During the two years in this role, I met some wonderful people, who led rich and fulfilling lives when they were more able and soldier on with great courage to make the best of it.

As with my first two novels, Gypsies Stop tHere and No Gypsies Served, I touch on sensitive subjects where there is always the wish not to offend, and more positively, to be validated. Someone said that I do not 'shy away from thorny issues' which is why on Twitter I am a 'village with edge' novelist. For me, 'edge' does not have to be murder and mayhem; it can also be everyday yet disturbing aspects of life that resonate with readers - but with a positive slant.

I hope Shades of Appley Green will be enjoyed by people whose lives are affected in some way by the condition; I would love to hear from them. Jackson Jeffrys is such a 'dear old chap'!

(Note: By the way, I did have permission to reproduce this page!)

Available from Amazon as paperback and also as a Kindle ebook
Also from Waterstones bookshops.


  1. How wonderful to get a commendation like this. Feel proud.

  2. Good review, Miriam. Congrats!

  3. That's fabulous, Miriam, truly. You have to be so careful with senstive subjects, not just to get the detail right, but to write in a way that shares and reaches out. You've obviously succeeded. Wonderful. :) xx

  4. Thanks so much for kind comments - yes, as you will have gathered I am very pleased! The reviews they publish tend to be candid and genuine; they don't beat about the bush!

  5. Hi,

    Congratulations! A worthwhile review.