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Fabafterfifty: Book Reviews

  1. How to avoid losing your self-confidence and self-esteem – warning, some nudity is involved!

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    Article by Martin Goodyer Go find a mirror and take a good look. What do you see? If you find yourself remembering that once upon a time you lived with more confidence or felt better about yourself then than you do now, then you’ve probably had a ‘WTF just happened to me?’ moment. Likely as not it wasn’t a moment of pleasure, more like a painful slap of reality when you realised something wasn’t working for you, – but quite what it is, now that’s not clear. It can be quite confusing. Time is a funny thing. It’s natural that as it passes, the unconscious questions that cause you to doubt yourself build and strengthen. Those tiny doubts get stronger and stronger until doubt about doubt becomes certainly. You become sure that...
  2. Book Review: The Next by Stephanie Gangi

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    Review by Ceri Wheeldon If you were  to die and had the chance to haunt just one person, who would it be? I can think of at least one person I would like to haunt given the chance – and I know friends would not need a second guess to know just who that would be! But would there be any point? I have just read the debut novel The Next  by Stephanie Gangi , an author in her late fifties.  When her lead character Joanna dies, she feels she has unfinished business,  and decides to make her ‘presence’ felt.  Her bitterness at the end of her life regarding her abandonment by the man she considered to be the love of her life left her daughters feeling she hadn’t had...
  3. How To Survive A Psychopath Boss by Terence Mauri

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     Article by Terence Mauri I have a confession. I once had a psychopath boss. His nickname in the office was ‘silent assassin’. He wasn’t the CEO but did hold a senior position as Head of Department for a big consultancy I worked at. I was in a windowless temporary office set up on his floor where I was asked to help get rid of ten percent of employees owing to difficult trading conditions. The language used to describe this sorry state of affairs was obviously much more slick. ‘Downsizing’ was the term used, if I recall correctly. My boss would make a show of coming in and out of my office and just stay for five minutes practicing his imaginary golf swing without saying a thing. Other times, I’d bump into him in the life and he would just stand there with an unsettling death stare. No hello, no greeting, nothing. I...
  4. Book Review: Who’d Have Thought It by Christine Webber: a must read for SWOFTYs (Single Women over 50)

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    Article by Ceri Wheeldon What happens when your life is turned upside down at the age of 54, when your husband announces that he wants as a divorce, as he has fallen in love with someone else. This is the situation Dr Annie Templeton finds herself in.  Initially finding herself in a state of shock, she subsequently accepts that she had essentially been ‘going through the motions’ in respect to her marriage , and emerges to rebuild her single life.  But Annie soon comes to realise that being newly single in your 50s is very different to being single in your 20s or 30s. As friends around her evaluate their own relationships, and Annie finds herself adjusting to being both single and an emptynester, while being a supportive friend and mother, coping with an...
  5. Life over 50: Learn from mistakes and turn negatives into positives

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    Article by Jackie Beere As a child I was extrovert, gregarious, naughty and alternative but was also strangely introspective. I did and said crazy, loud things, then spent hours regretting them. You might think that once we get to our 50’s and have settled down (maybe), there would be less to mentally beat ourselves up about. Shouldn’t we, as the wrinkles lengthen and our kids leave home, be able to feel more philosophical now about mistakes and bounce back from them more quickly? Hitting the half century is a time for reflection on what has been and what we might still achieve. Do you feel that time is passing by too quickly to achieve any new goals? You’d be wrong! The secrets are not to have fixed views about who you are...
  6. Never too Late to be a Teenager

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    Article by Simon Gandolfi Two minor heart attacks in a small Guatemalan town midway up a volcano transformed me into a biker. Not immediately. For the first three years I did nothing but wait fearfully for the next whack.   Slightest twinge (real or imagined), I grabbed for the pills; no walks with the children to where an ambulance couldn’t reach. Boring for everyone – including me. “Go travelling,” was my wife’s suggestion – anything to get me out of the house and out of her hair. Europe was too near. “You’ve always wanted to see South America.” The bike was my input; a small one so that I could lift it when I fell. And cheap. A new 125 Honda Cargo cost £800 in the already...
  7. The top 10 funny women from British History

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    Article by Howard of Warwick What’s so funny? The top 10 funny women from British History? Try finding the top 10 funny anything from history. History likes disasters, wars and great feats. It has rules, and appears not to let people or things in just for being funny – unless they did it on purpose; Gracie Fields, Joan Sims, Peggy Mount, Stella Gibbons? To gain admission to real history you have to be heroic, important or influential; Grace Darling, Emmeline Pankhurst, Jane Austen. But all the characters of history can be hilarious – in their own right, or the right hands. Queen Elizabeth 1: In Blackadder. Jane Austen: a very funny writer. Queen Victoria: What was Blackadder’s problem with royalty? Millicent Martin: TW3 – but is that history? The Lady of the Lake: Monty Python and the Holy...
  8. Book Review: Masquerade by Hannah Fielding

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    Article by Ceri Wheeldon Masquerade, by Hannah Fielding, is the second in a trilogy set in Andalucia, although it should be enjoyable as a stand alone novel, I was glad I had previously read Indiscretion, the first in the series, as it helped place the characters and some of the storyline into context . Masquerade picks up about 25 years on from where Indiscretion ended.  The story moves onto the next generation – and 1976 – where it seems the passion for the leading character was running as high as the British summer temperatures! Luz de Rueda returns to Spain , having been commissioned to write the biography of a famous artist.  Her boss is arrogant successful, handsome – and startlingly similar to a passionate young gypsy she has encountered. Luz is...
  9. Writer Anne Stormont shares her Story behind the Stories

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    Article by Anne Stormont Anne Stormont lives in the Scottish Highlands and writes contemporary women’s fiction. She describes it as Romance Plus. So yes, there’s a romantic love element , but the main characters are also facing life-changing situations and dealing with all sorts of mid-life challenges. Her protagonists may be middle-aged, but they’re still capable of thinking, changing, making mistakes, and falling in love. They show there is life post fifty. Hello, my name is Anne and I’m a writer. I do love saying that about myself and I still find it hard to believe. I didn’t publish my first novel until I was 54, but now, five years and two novels later, I am a writer. Yes, in some ways I wish I’d done it sooner, but I...
  10. Book review..Learning to Speak American by Colette Dartford

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    Review by Ceri Wheeldon   How do you move on with your life following the death of a child? This is the main question running through Colette Dartford’s first novel. Three years following the death of their only child, Lola and Duncan find themselves functioning but not really living as they go about the motions of their daily lives. Each dealing with their grief in very different ways a chance visit to a derelict house in California offers them a seed of hope and happiness.  As restoration of the house progresses Lola feels herself slowly coming back to life…but can their marriage find that lost spark that died with their daughter? As we  follow both Lola and Duncan’s  journeys we see them come to terms with loss, grief, love and life. New friendships, new perspectives,...
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