The Comings And Goings Of Reverend Bertram Moorehouse by John Umfreville

Full Circle

The Comings And Goings Of Reverend Bertram Moorehouse by John Umfreville is a historical book about a family in a small town in the late nineteenth century.

The style is reminiscent of other books I have read about the English countryside written in the 1930’s. The book has an olde worlde charm to it and as you read, you are never quite sure if this is fact or fiction. There was something very soothing about the narrative as the reader ‘experienced’ life in a small town in Victorian Britain.

The temperance movement was large at the time. Any alcohol imbibed was seen as scandalous, especially if it was by a man of the cloth, whether it was intentional or not.

The small town was a hotbed for gossip. Appearances were important. Tragedy strikes rather than have scandal erupt.

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The First Breath by Olivia Gordon

Never Give Up

The First Breath by Olivia Gordon is a powerful book exploring the area of fetal medicine and care for the babies in the neo natal unit. As well as examining various disabilities and the procedures and care involved. It is a heart wrenching book. The bravery of the parents is astounding. The skills of the medical professionals immense. The fight in the babies enormous.

Olivia Gordon had a premature son, Joel in 2011. He has had his fair share of health problems to overcome. It is Joel who prompted Olivia Gordon to look into and explore the world of fetal medicine.

The whole book is fascinating. The medical advances in my lifetime are huge. I take my hat off to the health professionals with their skills and knowledge.

The book includes not only Olivia Gordon’s experiences but also the personal stories of others. At the end of the book, we catch up with the children to learn how they are now doing.

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The Cut Out Girl by Bart Van Es

An Encounter With History

The Cut Out Girl by Bart Van Es is a remarkable true story of Lien, a Jewish girl who was eight years old in 1942 when she went into hiding in the Netherlands. Her life intersected with the author’s as she lived with his grandparents for part of the war.

This book is a tribute to all the innocents who perished. The author lists all the family members of Lien’s who perished during the Holocaust. It makes for grim reading. May we never forget.

The reader ‘experiences’ life through the eyes of an eight year old. These memories are then put into historical context through extensive research by Bart Van Es. We then have a comprehensive narrative.

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Lance: A Spirit Unbroken by Walter Stoffel

Die Hard: A Survivor

Lance: A Spirit Unbroken by Walter Stoffel is the most heart breaking book I have read in a long while. It is the true story of Lance, an abused Border Collie, and his rescue by the author and his wife. Lance’s story broke my heart, it made me angry, and filled me with love for a dog that I will never know and it made me cry. I knew what was coming but what I didn’t expect was the emotional attachment I had made to Lance during the book and the tears I would cry. I felt bereaved as the book ended, as if a part of me was missing. I really connected with Lance: A Spirit Unbroken.

I am full of admiration for Walter Stoffel and his wife. They went above and beyond the extra mile when they rescued Lance. This book is as much a tribute to their love and perseverance as it is to Lance’s will to survive.

Abused for ten years this poor dog should have been dead but Lance’s strength of will and spirit is truly amazing. A lesser dog would have given in.

This book is a love story – a great love by a couple for a poor dog who had only known cruelty and abuse. The love shines out from the pages. I ‘caught’ the love for Lance. I did not know him before reading the book but now I do, such is the power of Walter Stoffel’s writing.

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