Jackie Parry – author


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Memoir Reviews

As an author of memoirs, I indulge in this genre more than I ever did before. I do read all genres and enjoy the vivid and varied styles and stories.

Here are two reviews for memoirs I’ve recently finished. So much enjoyment! So many books – so little time….

African Ways by Valerie Poore51epNPjYfdL._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_

A Compelling Read

Moving to South Africa with her husband and young girls was a challenge Valerie Poore tackled with endearing humility and humour. Their time there is a picture story created through vivid prose.

As she recalls the unique culture and charming characters I was taken on a journey where I could experience the countryside and feel her frustrations while enduring the tough challenges that a new culture brings.

This is beautifully written with down to earth, honest style.

I’ve read other books from Valerie Poore and I shall be reading more. This lady is smart, courageous, warm and funny – and this book will put a smile on your face.

 

No Damage: An adventure in courage, survival and the pursuit of dreams by Kathryn Hodgson

A roller-coaster read

Here’s a lady with enormous human spirit and a knack to laugh at herself.

Told with searing honesty, Kathryn takes you on a journey of love, loss, heartache, joy and redemption. Her most intimate decisions are shared, discussed, analysed and carried out with equal measures of humour, sadness, fear and validation.51Rg4v9F+jL._SX353_BO1,204,203,200_

Although at times I felt a tiny bit uncomfortable with her self-justification for some of those decisions – I still couldn’t wait to settle down each evening to be carried along with her sentiments and emotions. I wanted to see which one of life’s challenges would knock her flat next – and how she’d stand up and slap it right back!

These ‘life-lessons’ are experienced by us all, but Kathryn makes it a fun ride that’s all wrapped in the chaos of two lunatic, adorable dogs.

If you are a similar age and you like an entertaining read on handling the lumps and bumps of life that is loaded with sentiment – this book is for you.

I would have loved to have more written dialogue between Kathryn and her dynamic friends, to really hear how they carried her through the difficult times – but that’s just a personal perspective and takes nothing away from a great read!


2 Comments >

And she is right….. I know I’ve written a good yarn when someone ends up knowing me so well…. read this review at your own risk…. (I’m still in tears!)

I’ve just finished Jackie Parry’s book. I was actually in tears at both the beginning and the end. At the start of the book, I felt the loss that Jackie experienced deeply and understood her need to escape to another world. By the end, I felt as if I’d been living with her on board the Mariah II with her and experienced so much. I felt her sadness at leaving this wonderful, free, wandering life behind; the disillusionment of being back in the ‘real’ world again. I shared both her delight and her torments – the joys and the fears of living so close to the elements. But more than anything what I admired about this book was what it represented: the choice of living a dream, of following a way of life that is totally against the normal grain and revelling in discovering the strengths and trust built in a relationship that is more than simply symbiotic. Jackie and her Noel develop a bond that is so strong, it brings a lump to my throat just imagining it. They also make some wonderful friends among their fellow world travellers, the very special Den and Tash, a Dutch couple so intrepid they take living under sail to new levels. I have to say the sense of a community of cruisers just opting out of the daily grind and routine and living like gyspies as they meander round the world is immensely appealing.

It’s taken me a while to read, as it’s a pretty long book to get through if you can only read at bedtime, but in fact it could have been longer. I would have loved more about their travels through America. That could have been a memoir all on its own. The French section could also have been longer, so Jackie, if you read this, maybe we could have two sub-memoirs? The last thing I want to mention is my admiration for Jackie Parry too. She glosses over her achievements, but reading between the lines, I more than take my hat off to her. For an example of someone with guts, courage and determination to live life on her own terms, I can’t think of anyone better. She has not only lived her dream, she is fully qualified to do it too, gaining top diplomas in many areas of marine skills. And let’s not forget the magnificent (and probably very patient) Noel, the rock on whom Jackie has depended and whose patience helped her find peace after the sadness of her early bereavement. Jackie’s personality shines through this book. She is feisty, intrepid, fun and friendly, but also unashamedly given to bursts temper and petulance – a wonderfully human being who has told a wonderfully compelling story.

Cruisers' AA - Jackie and Noel Parry


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Naked Cartwheels!

‘I like stripping’ and ‘naked cartwheels!’ Just what is going on? Has my blog taken on a new, raunchy category….?!

My stripping comment was due to us ‘stripping’ the inside of the boat, but it wasn’t to make room to do naked cartwheels!

Use your imagination! (Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Use your imagination!
(Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

The ‘undressed-aerobics’ is a comment from someone who has purchased both our books. And I quote.

‘My partner started reading as soon as your books arrived (two minutes ago), and twenty pages in she is laughing. Thanks Jackie, I will now be ignored for the rest of the day as my partner dives into this tale of the heart and adventure, and the only thing I will hear from her is “what are you making for lunch” and “ha ha ha I so get that”. I could do naked cartwheels through the house NOW and she would not notice me, she’s only thirty pages in and I can’t wait for my go!’

Writers live for these kind of comments. It pays for the endless twenty-hour days, the worry, the stress while putting yourself ‘out-there’ to be judged.

So hug an author, leave or review or drop them a line… it’ll mean more than you’ll ever know.

Of Foreign Build – from corporate girl to sea-gypsy woman and Cruisers’ Accumulated Acumen

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