The One of Us by John Needham

The_One_Of_Us_cover_latest_001NEW RELEASE:  The One of Us by John Needham

A compelling and fascinating story.

 

About the book: Jim and Maureen Harrison ache to have a child. Glyn and Sioned Rees want a brother or sister for their daughter Lowri. But for both couples, further pregnancy is impossible. So what to do?

The answers to both their dreams are sucking their thumbs in the Strawberry Field children’s home in Liverpool: foundlings, twin baby boys. Glyn and Sioned adopt one, whom they bring up in Wales. Jim and Maureen adopt the other, rearing him in north Yorkshire.

And so the boys are brought up in very different social and family environments, developing markedly different personalities and aspirations. But are they entirely different? After all, they are monozygotic: identical. Does their genetic commonality confer similar character traits deep down? John Needham’s third novel explores nature/nurture theory, weaving it into an absorbing, at times exquisitely moving tale of brothers.

Readers of his previous book, Forebears, will be re-acquainted with warm-hearted, buff, call-a-spade-a-bloody-shovel Yorkshire lass Helen, now taking a larger role, telling her story from an earlier time.

This gentle, compelling, sometimes poignant novel tells the boys’ stories in parallel as they grow to manhood, converging to a dramatic, heart-wrenching reunion that will wring your emotions dry. 

A heart-warming tale of identical, foundling twin brothers separated as babies and adopted to be brought up in very different environments. The boy’s stories are told in parallel as they grow to manhood, converging to an unusual, emotionally-searing reunion.

***

My first impression of this book was, what a strange title, however, having read it, there could be no more perfect one.

How could Julie have known, way back in 1984 when she left her native Ireland to live in Liverpool that her fancying Paul, at a nightclub, the consequences of that night, and the relationship which followed would change so many people’s lives, including her own?

Glyn and Sioned love their daughter Lowri, yet they yearn for another child. Jim and Maureen are trying to come to terms with Maureen’s inability to carry a baby to term. Two couples who, for two very different reasons, decide to adopt a baby, but each of their choices leave them inextricably tied in a way they could never imagine.

Life has a way of changing just when we think we are settled, and as a result, Glyn, Sioned, Lowri and little adopted Tomos find themselves moving back to their native Wales. Whilst Jim, Maureen and their little adopted son Wayne relocate to Northallerton in North Yorkshire.

This is the story of these two boys, each having very different childhoods, achievements, plans and dreams. As they grow into men, however, it is discovered that they have one thing in common, and in the end, does anything else matter?

I found this story un-put-down-able, it has a very unusual storyline, plenty of twists and turns, and a real surprise ending.

Those of us who love this author’s very humane way of writing are, yet again, treated to another beautifully written story. At the end of the book, as an added bonus, the author has included a couple of chapters of ‘Forebears’ one of his previously published novels, which also features one of the characters in this story.

 

***

About the Author: I have had a love affair with the written word all my life. An avid reader as a child, my passion for print moved up a gear when I was apprenticed into the compositor’s art in the bygone age of hot-metal letterpress, long before the advent of computers, high-tech printing and ebooks.

Much of my career continued in a parallel vein, in copywriting and as a graphic designer. Now retired from all that, I write books: issues-based and exploring the human condition. I have produced two house renovation books although not yet published them, and an autobiography, Wishing for the Better, is being published free-to-read on my website, wordsfromjohn.wordpress.com.

In fiction, my debut novel was Convergence, a story of elderly, interracial love. This was followed by Forebears, a family saga set in the east of England spanning 106 years from the early 20th century almost to the present day.

My third novel, The One of Us, about the trials and tribulations and nature/nurture theory of separated-as-babies, adopted identical twins, will be followed by a fourth that tells the story of another character in that novel.

I live and produce my words in west Wales.

Author’s Website: http://wordsfromjohn.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/nature-or-nurture/

The One of Us is available to purchase from:

Autharium  http://www.autharium.com/Ebook/wordsfrom%20john/the-one-of-us

and in Kindle format from Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Us-John-Needham-ebook/dp/B00OAAUOPW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412837081&sr=8-1&keywords=the+one+of+us+by+john+needham

 

Another Spring by John Needham

Capture_Another_Spring_blue_palerAbout the Book: An un-named black girl finds awakening of love in her barren life. A young girl samples a first kiss with a young man after having a fright at the seaside in 1924. Two couples go through the hopes and anxieties of child adoption, finding they have something in common. The angst of being an ugly duckling teenage boy in the 1950s comes good, with a surprise twist in the tail. A writer reminisces about the recent years of his past in recollections bitter-sweet.

These are stories that will tug the heart strings and sometimes make you smile. And sometimes too, perhaps, they might provoke another sort of smile: a wry one of remembrance.

 

 

A lovely collection of short stories.

This book is a collection of short stories, each possessing different themes, but all written in the style of writing that lovers of John Needham’s other books will recognise. 

John writes from experience, hindsight and observation. These stories are poignant, reflective, heartrending and celebratory, they will make you laugh, smile, think and reflect.

If you are a fan of fly on the wall stories or memoirs, you will love the way that his pen dips into the past as he captures the essence of life then, and the innocence of bygone days, in the first two of his short stories which are called Awakening and Skeggy Day Out.

Tantalisingly, Baby Blues is a taster for his next novel The One of Us. As two couples explore their thoughts and feelings whilst deciding whether they are going to adopt.

Of course everyone has fallen in love. Dream, Dream, Dream, takes its title from the famous song as one man reflects on life and love in the 50’s.

Whilst in the final story a writer shares a little of himself in Another Spring…

Even though two of the stories are modified extracts from the author’s novels Convergence and Forebears, the others are new, and I am confident in saying that fans of John’s writing will not be disappointed in this new book.

 Available in Kindle format from:

Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Another-Spring-heart-warming-seasonal-tales-ebook/dp/B00LN6AQJA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405089596&sr=8-1&keywords=Another+spring+by+john+needham

Amazon.co.uk http://www.amazon.co.uk/Another-Spring-heart-warming-seasonal-tales-ebook/dp/B00LN6AQJA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405090739&sr=8-1&keywords=another+spring+by+john+needham

Autharium http://www.autharium.com/Ebook/wordsfrom%20john/another-spring-story

 

 

 

 

 

Convergence by John Needham

Special Promotion $1.99

A gentle and thought provoking inter-racial love story.

Convergence_new_cover_jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the book: Martin is a bachelor, a house renovator who has retired to a cottage in the beautiful South Shropshire Hills. His final project is a pair of stone cottages: one for himself and his springer spaniel to live in; the other to rent out to supplement his pension.
Lily’s parents came to Britain from the West Indies on the Empire Windrush in 1948 in search of a new beginning. She has spent her life as one of the first generation of British-born black people, suffering prejudice in her early life. Also retired, Lily seeks a place in the country for her twilight years too.
Their disparate life-lines meet when Lily becomes Martin’s tenant. Just when they’d both thought it would never happen again, romance, surprisingly passionate romance, blossoms. This gentle story of inter-racial love in the autumn of life is at once poignant and uplifting – and it is angry, raging against tribalistic hatred and fear of the outsider. There is ultimate sadness as the two lost souls coalesce but their convergence is also life-affirming; a celebration of intrinsic human kindness.

Review by Susan Keefe

Having enjoyed carrying out many house renovations, when Martin Spencer decides to stop, and make the second of a pair of cottages an income, by renting it out, he discovers that being a landlord isn’t as easy as he thought it would be.

Martin had married, very young, Judith, his Indian landlord’s beautiful daughter, and they had had two children. Never racist, he welcomes his new black tenant Lily Richards, who has found herself sadly alone in the world in later life too. Very soon they are enjoying each other’s company, and an easy friendship develops.

As Martin and Lily share their very different lives with each other, the reader, gains an insight into the prejudices, from both sides, associated with mix marriages through the decades.

The book actually continues into the future, following their lives forward….

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this gentle, love story. Sometimes happy, sometimes sad, there are many life lessons, nestled, within the pages of this lovely book.

At the end there is the opportunity to sample chapters from the author’s new novel ‘Forebears.’

 

Available from Amazon.co.uk in Kindle format http://www.amazon.co.uk/Convergence-John-Needham-ebook/dp/B00A00L3DI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396439091&sr=8-1&keywords=convergence+by+john+needham

and also Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Convergence-John-Needham-ebook/dp/B00A00L3DI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396439257&sr=8-1&keywords=convergence+by+john+needham

Forebears by John Needham

A review pre-release of a fascinating story of discovery spanning the 20th and 21st Centuries.

A fascinating story.

Forebears_jpeg_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This story starts with Jay, standing in the church at the funeral of his Grandmother, June. After the wake, his Granddad offers him the opportunity to read his Grandmother’s diaries, which she has kept since she was a child.

That night, Jay and his partner Helen snuggle up together and open one of the journals….

As they begin turning the pages, they find themselves drawn back through the years to June’s childhood.  But then another, parallel narrative appears: we are taken back two more generations to begin with June’s own grandmother.

The story spans 105 years, and follows generations of the same family, down the female line, starting with Juniper, an attractive young woman who becomes a Governess in 1906. Her life, like so many others was moulded by circumstances beyond her control. When World War 1 started, everyone, including her boyfriend was sure it would be over by Christmas, but unfortunately, as we know it was not, and our glimpse into her life gives a wonderful insight into what living before, during and after the First World War was really like.

As the story progresses, I found it fascinating to read about the changes in attitudes, fashions and morals throughout the 20th and into the 21st Century.

At the end there is the opportunity to sample the authors debut novel ‘Convergence’, which is about Martin, one of the characters in this book.

This, in my opinion would make a good book for students of Modern History to read, or anyone interested in family life in the 20th and 21st Century. Within its pages  you will find it all, love, life, birth death, the full gamut of emotions. At the very end there is a satisfying, surprise plot twist.

Convergence by John Needham

A gentle and thought provoking inter-racial love story available in Kindle format.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Convergence-ebook/dp/B00A00L3DI/ref=cm_cr-mr-img

 

Having enjoyed carrying out many house renovations, when Martin Spencer decides to stop, and make the second of a pair of cottages an income, by renting it out, he discovers that being a landlord isn’t as easy as he thought it would be.

Martin had married, very young, Judith, his Indian landlord’s beautiful daughter, and they had had two children. Never racist, he welcomes his new black tenant Lily Richards, who has found herself sadly alone in the world in later life too. Very soon they are enjoying each other’s company, and an easy friendship develops.

As Martin and Lily share their very different lives with each other, the reader, gains an insight into the prejudices, from both sides, associated with mix marriages through the decades.

The book actually continues into the future, following their lives forward….

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this gentle, love story. Sometimes happy, sometimes sad, there are many life lessons, nestled, within the pages of this lovely book.