Drie populêre kinderboeke, nou beskibaar in Afrikaans. Helder en kleurvolle illustrasies en beminlike karakters wat opwindende avonture deel. Vir kinders en ouers om saam te geniet.
I am a big fan of Patricia and her style of writing. She certainly knows how to capture the imagination.
Mandie Griffiths, Book Reviewer
Die Leeu en die Hond
Hierdie gedig was geïnspereer deur die ware verhaal van Bonedigger, die gestremde leeu en Milo die vriendelike worshond wat bewys het dat vriendskap geen grense ken nie.
“Ek hou van die mooi boodskappe van vriendskap, geloof, optimisme, en vriendelikheid oorgedra deur middel van hierdie verhaal. Die illustrasies is wonderlik en hulle gee duidelikheid aan die konsep en die outeur se woorde. Wat ‘n pragtige storie vir ouers om voor te lees vir kinders en kinders te help om die ware betekenis van vriendskap te verstaan en hoe dit geen grense ken nie!”
Die Olifant en die Skaap
Hierdie gedig was geïnspereer deur die ware verhaal van Themba, ‘n ses- maande-ou weesolifant wat aangemeem is deur Albert die skaap. Die twee vriende woon in ‘n natuurreservaat in Suid Afrika.
“We both liked the illustrations. They are colorful and cute.I really liked the message that Furstenberg put into this story. It is one that children need to learn at an early age. I recommend this book for anyone with young children.” 5* Readers’ Favorite Review for the English Edition
Die Jagluiperd en die Hond
Hierdie gedig was geïnspereer deur die ware verhaal van Kasi, ‘n wees jagluiperd mannietjie, en Mtani, ‘n Labrador tefie, wat ‘n merkwaardige vriendskap gesmee het en lewenslank vriende gebly het…
“An important and beautiful story for little readers. A book parents should read to their children, not only because it’s pretty and cute, but to also encourage children to learn about the little things that matter from our four legged companions.” 5 Stars Review of the English Edition by Rebecca Evans, Reviewer
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Dieses Gedicht wurde von der wahren Geschichte eines sechs Monate alten Elefanten namens Themba – ein Waisenkind – geprägt. Themba wurde von einem Schaf namens Albert adoptiert. Die beiden Freunde leben in einem Naturschutzgebiet in Südafrika.
“Zwei kleine Schwänze trafen sich eines Tages, beide vor Freude strahlend, Rein zufällig, unter heißen Sonnenstrahlen. “Hallo,” einer wedelte; der andere wackelte, “lass uns spielen!” Sie sahen einander nicht ähnlich, aber sie waren beide grau. “Ja, zusammenspielen!” Einer hatte trampelnde Füße; der andere war kleiner, aber feiner. Das eine Lächeln war hoch. Der Mund des anderen war viel kleiner.”
Dieses Gedicht wurde von der wahren Geschichte von Bonedigger, dem behinderten Löwen, und Milo, dem freundlichen Dackel, geprägt. Sie bewiesen, dass Freundschaft keine Grenzen kennt.
Im Herzen eines … Zoos, so wird gesagt, Dass ein Löwe und ein Hund oft ihr Brot teilten. Wie wunderbar! Und die Nachricht verbreitete sich schnell: “So eine unglaubliche Freundschaft!” Kaum zu glauben, dass ein Löwe und ein Hund Freunde sein könnten. “Sie sind nicht die gleiche Rasse,” sagten alle. “Das ist ein Märchen!”
Dieses Gedicht wurde von einer wahren Geschichte geprägt. Kasi war ein männlicher Gepard – ein Waisenkind; Mtani eine Labradorhündin. Die beiden schlossen eine bemerkenswerte Freundschaft und blieben lebenslange Freunde.
Zwei nasse Nasen trafen sich eines Tages, zufällig. Jeder von ihnen war auf einer anderen Spur. Rein zufällig … Die Sonne stand hoch, der Tag war heiß. Sobald der Staub wirbelte, konnte man nichts sehen, alles das Gleiche! Das sind Afrikas wilde Ebenen, Mit langen, heißen Sommern und Geschichten von Schwänzen.
Have you read any of these books? I would like to hear your thoughts!
There is something
magical about attending a theatre production. It is a thrilling experience
being immersed in a story evolving right before your very eyes, on the stage. Forget
special effects; welcome instead the sound of feet on a wooden board and the masterful
use of primary tools: voice, facial expressions, body language.
The actors on a stage
have large gestures and welcoming body motions. They reel you in, welcome you
into their stage life – their open life. Come, see, live – their hands say.
Tune in, listen closely – their voices whisper. Have you taken it all in? Are
you sure you caught each detail? Their eyes beckon us.
A theatre experience presents
us with raw life, but through a looking glass: every detail shows, every detail
counts. Theatre is life in its distilled form, pure and flavorful. Come with
us, share this experience we offer so willingly. Forget your troubled life;
maybe even find an answer you didn’t know you were looking for, on our stage.
The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie
is a chiseled locked-room mystery: a group of strangers gathered in a country house cut off by the snowstorm discover that one of them is a murderer.
Death IS present in
the play, coming from a desire for revenge, but not overpowering. The search
for justice, the desire to solve the murder is the force that moves the play
forward – even if the murderer proves to be sympathetic through life circumstances
and mitigating reasons.
What is real and what is not? Find out by
yourself, it is theatre and the work of Agatha Christie, after all.
A word of advice: patrons attending the St Martin’s production are asked to tip their cab driver on arrival – a bad tip usually means that the cabby will shout the murderer’s name and speed off.
In theatre there are
no second chances, second takes or cuts – and for this I truly admire its
In the South African Pieter Toerien Productions of The Mousetrap:
I loved the passionate interpretation of Melissa Haiden as Mollie Ralston, the frank way in which Mark Sykes performed the role of Giles Ralston, the epic rendition of Matthew Lotter as Christopher Wren, the stellar appearance of Michele Maxwell in Mrs. Boyle, the virtuoso performance of Malcolm Terrey as Major Metcalf, the mature interpretation of Shannyn Fourie in Miss Casewell, the colorful performance of West End Star Mark Wynter as Mr Paravicini as well as the meticulous character Aiden Scott instilled in Detective Sergeant Trotter.
Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre 24 January – 3 March Performances: Wed – Fri at 20h00, Sat at 16h00 and 20h00, Sun at 15h00 Tickets: R100, R150, R200, R240 Computicket or Theatre Box Office 011 511 1818
Interesting facts about The Mousetrap:
The Mousetrap is the longest-running play in the history of London’s West End. In 2019 the production headed into its 68th year at the St. Martin’s Theatre. Since 6 October 1952 the play has reached well over 27,000 performances.
The Mousetrap was initially performed as a radio play in 1952 and was broadcast by the BBC with the title Three Blind Mice. The radio play had been commissioned in 1947 by Queen Mary, who was a Christie fan. There is no tape of that broadcast known to exist. The forty-five minute play was based on a short story on which Christie had been working. Due to the extremely warm welcome by the audience, Christie elaborated the script. Its first performance was on October 6, 1952, when The Mousetrap became a stage play.
There is still an original cast member in each production: recording of a radio broadcast the play opens with. The voice belongs to English actor Deryck Guyler who, thus, has ‘appeared’ in every UK showing of The Mousetrap to date…
Richard Attenborough and his wife Sheila
Sims starred in the original production.
Most of its sound cues – wind, bells, slamming doors – are created live backstage.
The Mousetrap has never been adapted in any other format.
Christie signed over the royalties from the play to her grandson, Mathew Prichard, at its opening in 1952.
Agatha Christie made her last public appearance at The Mousetrap in 1974, age 84.
Each performance ends with one actor from the company addressing the audience: “Now you have seen The Mousetrap you are our partners in crime, and we ask you to preserve the tradition by keeping the secret of whodunit locked in your heart“. Have you watched it? If so, we are “partners in crime”.
15 Biographies And Memoirs Of Amazing African Women
What makes a woman amazing? Is it in the way she dominates a boardroom, or the way in which she commands a room full of people when she walks in? Is it the way her mouth curls at the corners when she smiles, or the way she holds herself up even when she is tired? Or perhaps it is the way she picks herself up when life has knocked her over? Maybe it’s the way she makes us feel when we are around her, giving us inspiration and strength?
Here are 15 biographies and memoirs by amazing African women to inspire you this Mother’s Day — and any other day of the year.
1. Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou was U.S. poet, singer, memoirist and civil rights activist best known for her seven autobiographies focusing on her childhood and early adult experiences.
“‘Mom & Me & Mom’ is delivered with Angelou’s trademark good humour and fierce optimism. If any resentments linger between these lines, if lives are partially revealed without all the bitter details exposed, well, that is part of Angelou’s forgiving design. As an account of reconciliation, this little book is just revealing enough, and pretty irresistible.” – The Washington Post
This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s First Woman President
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was born in Monrovia, moved to the United States to further her career at Harvard University and returned to Liberia. She was the 24th president of Liberia, 2006-2018.
In this stirring memoir, Sirleaf shares the story of her rise to power, including her early childhood; her experiences with abuse, imprisonment, and exile; and her fight for democracy and social justice.
She reveals her determination to succeed in multiple worlds, from her studies in the U.S. to campaigning in some of Liberia’s most desperate and war-torn villages and neighbourhoods. It is the tale of an outspoken political and social reformer who fought the oppression of dictators and championed change. By telling her story, Sirleaf encourages women everywhere to pursue leadership roles at the highest levels of power and gives us all hope that we can change the world.
The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper
Helene Cooper is a Liberian-born American journalist and the Pentagon correspondent for The New York Times. She received the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for coverage of the 2014 Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa.
“‘The House at Sugar Beach’ is a deeply personal memoir and an examination of a violent and stratified country. The House at Sugar Beach tells of tragedy, forgiveness, and transcendence with unflinching honesty and a survivor’s gentle humour.” (Simon and Schuster)
4. On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker by A’Lelia Perry Bundles
“On Her Own Ground” is the first full-scale, definitive biography of Madam C. J. Walker — the legendary African-American entrepreneur and philanthropist — by her great-great-granddaughter, A’Lelia Bundles. “On Her Own Ground” is about a woman who is truly an African-American icon. The book is enriched by the author’s exclusive access to personal letters, records and never-before-seen photographs from the family collection.</
Brutal Legacy: A Memoir by Tracy Going
Tracy Going is an award-winning former TV and radio news anchor.
“It’s for every mother who has run, every sister who has picked up the pieces and every friend who hasn’t fled. It’s for every brother who’s cried and for the children who have watched. Every South African should read it.” – Sisonke Msimang, author of “Always Another Country”.
Reflecting Rogue, Inside the mind of a feminist by Professor Pumla Dineo Gqola
Pumla Dineo Gqola is a gender activist, award-winning author and full professor of African literature at Wits University.
In her most personal book to date, written from classic Gqola anti-racist, feminist perspectives, “Reflecting Rogue” delivers 20 essays of deliciously incisive brain food, all extremely accessible to a general critical readership, without sacrificing intellectual rigour.
Cancer: A love story by Lauren Segal
Lauren Segal is a South African author and museum curator.
“Cancer: A Love Story” is the intimately searing memoir of a four-time cancer survivor. The book breathlessly tracks Lauren’s journey coming to terms with the untold challenges of the dreaded disease. But in the midst of her lonely horror, in a quest for deeper meaning, Lauren discovers the unexpected gift of awareness of unanticipated opportunities that cancer presents — to confront her unmasked humanity; her fears, strengths and weaknesses.
Country of My Skull by Antjie Krog
Antjie Krog is a South African poet, journalist, academic, and writer, the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2018 Gouden Ganzenveer (the golden goose feather), being the first non-Dutch speaking recipient.
“Country of My Skull” captures the complexity of the Truth Commission’s work. The narrative is often traumatic, vivid, and provocative. Krog’s powerful prose lures the reader actively and inventively through a mosaic of insights, impressions, and secret themes. This compelling tale is Antjie Krog’s profound literary account of the mending of a country that was in colossal need of change.
Selected Stories by Nadine Gordimer
Nadine Gordimer is a South African writer, political activist and recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature. She was recognised as a woman “who through her magnificent epic writing has been of very great benefit to humanity” (Alfred Nobel).
In stories written over a period of thirty years, individuals caught up in racial and other South African tensions choose or fall victim to visions and fears of freedom and change.
Nervous Conditions, semi-autobiographical by Tsitsi Dangarembga
Tsitsi Dangarembga is a Zimbabwean author and filmmaker.
Nervous Conditions” was awarded the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 1989 and is regarded as a significant contribution to African feminism and post-colonialist narratives.
The semi-autobiographical novel focuses on the story of a Rhodesian family in post-colonial Rhodesia during the 1960s. The novel attempts to illustrate the dynamic themes of race, class, gender, and cultural change during the post-colonial conditions in the country that is now Zimbabwe.
The Aya Series by Marguerite Abouet
Marguerite Abouet is an Ivorian writer of graphic novels best known for her Aya series.
The series is one of the few works of postcolonial African fiction that focuses almost entirely on the middle class. Although not entirely autobiographical, the story is based on the author’s life in Côte d’Ivoire. It was adapted into a critically acclaimed animated film, “Aya de Youpougon”.
Prison Diary by Fatima Meer
Fatima Meer is a South African writer, academic, screenwriter, and prominent anti-apartheid activist.
This diary, written by an anti-apartheid activist during her incarceration in the Old Fort in Johannesburg in 1976, begins with her arrest and ends after her release and arrival back in Durban. Details about living conditions, treatment by female guards and visits with her daughters are provided. Her 113 days in captivity are recounted, including how she the practised her Muslim faith and read the Quran.
Eyebags & Dimples by Bonnie Henna Bonnie Mbuli was born in Soweto, South Africa.”From child star to mother and wife. From abuse to transcendence. From public figure to piercing private pain. ‘Eyebags & Dimples’ is a portrait of a woman healing by owning every part of who she is. Bonnie’s bravery and vulnerability exemplify the kind of new personal narratives that will inspire the women of South Africa to self-reflect, reclaim and change the emotional status quo of our lives as well as that of our society.” – Lebo Mashile
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Publication date: November 13 2018 — we’re promised an intimate, powerful and inspiring memoir by the former first lady of the U.S.
Winnie Mandela: A Life, by Anne Mare du Preez Bezdrob
Everyone has an opinion about Winnie Mandela, and usually a strong one. She has been adored, feared and hated more than any other woman in South African history. But few people know much about the life behind the headlines, myths and sound-bites. This biography is an in-depth and intimate look at Winnie Mandela’s personal and political life and takes the reader on a remarkable journey of understanding.
My new book As Good as Gold, A dog’s life in poems was released just a few weeks ago as eBook and paperback and it enjoyed many wonderful blogger’s attention during a five day powerful and uplifting blog tour.
Here are some of lovely comments As Good as Gold received:
“I have a confession to make. I’m not much of a dog lover. I’m more a cat person so I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy As Good As Gold, celebrating dogs. I needn’t have worried. I thoroughly enjoyed this charming collection of verse and as a result of reading it I think I understand dogs so much better.” @Lindahill50Hill on her blog,Linda’s Book Bag
“Patricia has caught the canine personality beautifully in her poems.” @LoveBooksGroup on Love Books Group blog.
“We enjoyed reading through all the poems and seeing the adorable pup photos with each one.” @J_Mischenkoblogging at Read Rant RockAndRoll
“These are beautiful poems to be read with a child, by a child or as a pet loving adult. There is something for everyone to relate to.” @susanhampson57 on her blog Books From Dusk Till Dawn
“a lovely book. I think it would appeal to any dog lover or animal lover, children and adults alike.” @ShortBookScribe blogging at Short Book And Scribes
“Many people are put off poetry as they find it inaccessible and this is why this book of poems is such a pleasure to read, each one uses words and images we all know.” @Walescrazy on her blog Books Are My Cwtches
“I always enjoy reading Patricia’s books not just because they centre on dogs but because she always manages to capture their personality as they grow and find their way.” @mgriffiths163 for @JenMedBkReviews blogging at JenMedsBookReviews
“My favourite poem is “As Pink as a Puppy’s Tongue” because it has a pug in it and pugs are my favourite dog. This is a very good book.” review by a young boy reader at @x2mum on blogmumjd
“I particularly liked the haikus at the end. It’s quite a challenge to write a haiku with its strict rules but the author has managed this beautifully with each a small complete story and still from a puppy’s point of view.” @portybelle blogging at Portobello Bookblog
“This book is a pure delight to read! It is uplifting, positive and a pleasure to read and as a dog lover it warmed my heart” @dmmaguire391 blogging at Donnasbookblog
“All of these poems are so incredible and I truly hope that readers everywhere will check out this new release by Patricia Furstenberg. She continues to prove herself as an outstanding writer and her words truly make the world a happier and more beautiful place!” @jenthomason1109 on her blog Dandelions Inspired Blog
“I really enjoyed seeing all things from snowflakes and autumn leaves, to other creatures in the garden, through all these dog’s eyes. What we consider normal and everyday for our puppies and our older dogs, may not be so ordinary and normal. Maybe we could learn from the excitement of our dogs, a new “wonder” in all the things around us.”@Haydnsgrammiefor @ReviewThisSites at Review This Reviews
“this could be easily used in a classroom reading a poem a day and using this as a discussion to talk about feelings and emotions too. Children will love seeing the world through a puppies eyes .” @ggilly47on her blog gilly918
“My little girl loves dogs so she really enjoyed listening to the poems as they really were lots of fun and designed to make you smile. Then there is the lovely addition of photos of both dogs and puppies that we both loved” @Rae_Reads1blogging at raereads1.blogspot
“I’d recommend As Good as Gold to fans of poetry and books about dogs in general. It’s a great read for people of all ages.” @pixyjazz on her blog Book Reviews By Jasmine
“The well-written poems with vivid imagery are enjoyable, entertaining, and uplifting. This brilliant poetry book is one that dog-lover parents and their children will not want to miss.” @singlibbooks on her blog Singing Librarian Books
“This is a charming collection of ‘doggy’ verse with an extensive range of other animals and nature included, as well as some delightful haiku at the end.” @JuliaThumWrites blogging at Julia Thum
You can purchase As Good as Gold from Amazon worldwide:
Susan Day is also the head of the Enthralled Magazine, “put together by a bunch of authors, writers and graphic designers who have a passion for sharing everything and anything to do with writing”.
Susan, why did you create a magazine for authors and writers?
To be honest I was part of a group of authors who shared articles each month in what was loosely called a magazine. However, the end product was very disappointing. It was difficult to read because it was just a web page with a black background and white writing. There was no opportunity for authors to share links to their websites, social media or their books.
I thought there must be a better way of doing this. I had seen online magazines and once the idea began to grow and develop it picked up momentum. After a lot of research, and positive encouragement from other authors, I put together the first issue in January 2018.
I wanted to create a place for writers and authors to share their experiences. I wanted them to be able to feel safe to share how they felt about their publishing experience, and to celebrate what it means to be a writer and an author.
Like many ideas the name for the magazine seem to come from nowhere. However, it just seem to be the perfect word for the writing and reading experience. Authors and writers are enthralled with their work, they have deep relationships with their characters and an even deeper emotional connection with the story itself.
As well, readers are often enthralled by the story they are reading. How many times have you heard of readers say I couldn’t put this down I had to keep reading until the end. Some people said the magazine should have a name that reflects its readership, “authors” or “writers” for example.
I wanted this magazine to have a name that encapsulated all that was wonderful and creative about the writing process oh, and of course the experience of reading a fabulous book, poem or story.
Is Enthralled a magazine for authors and writers only to share their stories and poems?
Enthralled magazine was created for authors and writers to share their experiences. It’s more a platform for sharing knowledge and technical skills. For example, we are currently running a four-part series on topics authors can blogger about. Other articles include how one author’s book is being turned into a movie – that’s in issue one. Also, how one famous Australian author plans to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his book – that’s in issue two.
There are some stories and poems which add to the diversity of the content of the magazine.
As well, each year I hope to create a special edition of Enthralled magazine that celebrates the creative talents of how authors and writers. This will be a bumper issue that will include stories and poems only. It will not have any articles.
For this year the theme is simply the colour blue. Anyone who is interested in contributing is welcome to contact me all find more information by clicking this link – Blue Issue
I hope to achieve greater sharing of the power and intrigue writing and publishing provides to us all. Enthralled was created to give authors the power to share their knowledge and experiences. I hope in the future that it is shared and amongst of thousands of people because we all have a story to share and we can all learn from each other.
I also wanted to create something that was truly beautiful. Something that people would just love to read and treasure. Some people have call the magazine “brilliant” and “precious”. People have said that the images are stunning. I would take a long time choosing the images to match the articles and make sure they look amazing in the E magazine format.
Where can people see a copy and how much does it cost?
Enthralled magazine is free and costs nothing to access or share. It is supported by the generous donations of its readers, subscribers, and advertising. People can donate as little as they want. Donations and subscriptions are part of the generous culture I want to cultivate, and are more than just money offered to help pay for the running of the magazine.
At the moment, however, Enthralled magazine is more about sharing a passion for writing and a love of the written word. It’s also a great place to meet new authors and see what they are doing.
A lovely collaboration and friendship was born on Twitter. In July 2016 I met wonderful and talented Australian author Susan Day. Susan invited me to write a Guest Spot for her comprehensive blog Mypuppyclub “all you need for a happy, healthy, well-trained dog!”
What started as one blog post soon turned into my Sunday Dog Tales column as I wrote a post each Sunday until the 29th of April! 86 posts 🙂
It gives me great pleasure to share with you the chat I had with lovely Jessie Cahalin best known as the original, highly creative and ever so supportive of all authors @BooksInHandbag. Jessie just released her debut novel You Can’t Go It Alone, a book focusing on life through IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), love and the importance of music and friendship.
Here are my thoughts on You Can’t Go It Alone by Jessie Cahalin
Sophie and Jack are the main characters of this novel and the story opens as they just moved in Vine Cottage in the village of Delfryn. We soon discover that life for this young couple is not a “picture postcard” as Sophie dreams of, as they undergo a treatment of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization). The emotional roller-coaster they both go through and the pressure it puts on their relationship are presented with feeling and in-depth knowledge.
Jack’s parents, Jeanie and Max and their camper nicknamed Molly, bring humor and, surprisingly, a lot of action into the story. They, too, have their own struggles. I enjoyed the positive shift in relationship between Sophie and her mother-in-law Jeanie.
Next door, in Dove Cottage, lives Ruby with her daughter Daisy and partner Dan. Ruby has to deal with her own personal struggles. We discover that, sometimes, by opening up to others, unexpected help comes when we most need it. Nearby is Rose Cottage where widower Jim Evans lives alone with his dog, Lassie. There are a few secrets here that burden his last days, but also unexpected, happy news.
The main setting for this novel is, however, The Olive Tree Café run by Italian descendants Rosa, her jealous husband Matteo and their talented daughter Olivia. Why is Matteo so suspicious of his wife and daughter? Is it only his Italian blood to blame? And what keeps Rosa’s spirits up?
As one character says: “Maybe all the secrets hide in each branch and they fall away with the leaves.”
My favorite character was Rosa. I liked her creativity, all the effort she put in her small yet chic cafe while making time for everyone, her dedication towards her husband (even since the times they were just engaged) and how she knew how to support her young daughter Olivia. I liked how she kept her heart young.
You Can’t Go It Alone is a novel that appeals to all the senses.
The nature comes alive through Cahalin’s picturesque descriptions: you feel the April breeze through your hair, the rain washing over your face only to be dried up by warm sunshine.
“As they neared Delfryn, the light vanished from between the lush green trees, and the grey sky absorbed the colour.”
You hear the sounds, thunder and laughter, billowing voices and a little girl’s giggles, soulful chitchat and women singing, happy clinking of cups and saucers mingled with guitar music, tires screeching, laughter and sobs. An innocent girl laughs as she skips along the pathway to her “Magic Garden” and you hear the pebbles under her shoes.
It is a book filled with fragrances too; rosemary and lavender, freshly grinded coffee and cocoa dust, the earthly scent of olive oil and sweet tomatoes on bruschetta; the scent of wet ground and leaves and the sterile, impersonal smells of hospital.
It is a book of memories and secrets, of what it could have been, of what it really happened but most of all of what the future holds for all the characters: hope. The importance of communication and of speaking the truth is intertwined with each character’s journey.
Just as in the opening line of You Can’t Go It Alone,
“As Sophie looked up at the sky, its vast blueness held endless possibilities.”
this novel is alive and filled with love, for each other and for life, and a zest for life. It is the perfect pick-me-up read, with warm, engaging characters, a gorgeous setting and unexpected situations, both sad and humorous.
For such an amazing novel setting I headed over to Jessie’s Blogger Cafe to discus her thoughts and dreams for this book.
Patricia: Jessie, we have been communicating for a year now and working together on my book launches. You seem happy and positive about life and we have developed such a special, supportive relationship. Can you capture your life in two sentences?
Jessie: I’m the proud author of You Can’t Go It Alone and creator of Books in my Handbag Blog. Life is great, and my only regret is not connecting with the bookish world earlier.
Patricia: How would you describe You Can’t Go It Alone and the central themes?
Jessie: You Can’t Go It Alone explores the impact secrets can have on relationships and pursuit of happiness. The themes of the novel are: love, infertility, bereavement, loneliness and literacy.
The reader is invited to the fictional Welsh village of Delfyn where you can gain a little taste of Italy while listening to the music.
Patricia: Identify one of the key emotional journeys in the novel.
Jessie: Through Sophie and Jack, I show how a couple struggles to deal with IVF while getting on with life. Surrounding the characters with other people meant I could integrate emotions, comments and situations faced by couples like Jack and Sophie. Moreover, I decided it was important to give the husband a voice and this is conveyed via a blog.
Patricia: You introduce women from different decades, explore differences in their opportunities, and move in and out of their lives. Can you explain this?
Rosa, the leading lady of the Olive Tree Café, must face issues in her marriage. Sophie, a teacher, helps others to communicate but struggles to communicate with her husband, Jack, about their IVF journey. Married in the seventies, Pearl struggles to pursue her dream.
Patricia: In your book you approach the medical and emotional struggles of a couple going through IVF proving that a lot of research went into it. Can you share how you went about researching for your book?
Jessie: The IVF journey is from personal experience. When writing the book, I did research fertility websites and records of our treatment. Over the years, I have also spoken with many women about the experience and have realised I was not alone. And, I am always happy to support others who are going through the treatment. In You Can’t Go It Alone, I wanted to covey the experience through characters placed in real situations; hopefully it will connect with the readers.
Patricia: Gosh, Jessie, I had no idea you went through IVF. Having just read Sophie’s story I do admire you so, your determination and strength… *hugs*
Which character was the closest to your heart?
Sophie’s struggle is close to my heart. I can connect with the frustration and anger she experiences. Sophie has worked through the anger at her situation and is learning how to count her blessings. I had to nudge her to think of her husband’s perspective as she had become a little self-involved, but she is a kind person who can’t stop helping others. Although Pearl has an absent presence, I also feel connected to her through Jim and may tell her story, in more detail, in the future.
Patricia: I would love to read a follow-up to You Can’t Go It Alone! Who would you like to read your book?
I hope the story will resonate with everyone and should appeal to anyone who likes a good story and real, flawed characters. Despite the heavier themes, it is a feel- good book and conveys my commitment to the simple things in life.
I hope the book would support to anyone who is going through IVF or is about to embark on the process. The novel has light-hearted moments and presents hope. As C. S. Lewis said, ‘We read to know we are not alone.’
Patricia: What do you do when you are not writing?
Jessie: When I am not writing, I adore walking, cooking and procrastinating. Walking helps me to sort out tangles in my narratives or blog posts. We live in an area where there are some impressive mountain treks and costal walks, and we also have beautiful castles on the doorstep.
Jessie Cahalin’s Biography:
Jessie is a word warrior, bookish and intrepid virtual explorer. She loves to entertain with stories, and is never seen without: her camera, phone, notebook and handbag. Having overcome her fear of self-publishing, Jessie is now living the dream of introducing the characters who have been hassling her for decades. Her debut novel, ‘You Can’t Go It Alone’, is a heart-warming tale about the challenges women still face in society. The novel has light-hearted moments and presents hope.
Jessie hails from Yorkshire, North England, but she loves to travel the world and collect cultural gems, like a magpie. She searches for happy endings, where possible, and needs great coffee, food and music to give me inspiration.
Connecting with authors via her Books in her Handbag Blog is a blast. She showcases authors’ books in the popular Handbag Gallery and has fun meeting authors in the virtual world. Fellow authors have deemed her ‘creative and quirky’ and she wears these words like a blogging badge of honour. The challenge is to get out there and meet the authors face to face. She has already set up a few interviews for June and have travel adventures planned.
Her debut novel showcased on the virtual red carpet and was supported by the wonderful bookish community. One day, she would dearly love to roll out the red carpet and host a huge book launch for indie authors.
About You Can’t Go It Alone
Love, music and secrets are woven together in this poignant, heart-warming narrative.
Set in a Welsh village, the story explores the contrast in attitudes and opportunities between different generations of women. As the characters confront their secrets and fears, they discover truths about themselves and their relationships.
The reader is invited to laugh and cry, with the characters, and find joy in the simple things in life. Listen to the music and enjoy the food, as you peek inside the world of the inhabitants of Delfryn.
Let Sophie show you that no one can go it alone. Who knows, you may find some friends with big hearts…
‘Jessie creates soulful connections between her characters and the reader. These relationships crescendo and blend until the reader is into the full depths of human nature. It’s not every day one finds a book they can’t put down. This is reserved for the undeniably human writer.’