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John Snelling

magine if you will a long train journey, during which you start chatting with the stranger opposite and realise later that a couple of hours have passed easily by, full of fascinating anecdote, light and shade, wit and wisdom; an all too rare treat in our hectic but increasingly isolated modern life.You part as new friends, vowing to stay in touch. That is how I felt on reading this little gem of a book for the first time. Storytelling in an easy conversational style.

‘If you want to be a writer, write’ was never more apposite than here. John has clearly been thinking and writing for most of his life, and the range of this collection is impressive. Social comedy, local history, the use of very different voices and some subtle and moving poetry.

The silver thread which runs through it all is that of a devoted and close family within and outside the Anglican church, with some deft pen-portraits of great men and women who made a largely unsung difference to many lives. As a record of vanished times, small scale and local, it will be an ornament to any social history collection, and it fulfils an important role in the fast-disappearing narrative on which future historians and biographers will come to rely.

Amusing, thought-provoking, puckish and intimate by turns, peopled by types whom we we will all know from our own lives, but never stereotypical, this is a quiet celebration of an English life which many of us will recognise with affection and nostalgia without ever wishing to turn back the clock.

Hardback 210 x 148mm 272 pages
Preface by Christina Maude
Country Books
ISBN 978-1910489-52-9

Price £20.00

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