Tag-Archive for ◊ unexpected death ◊

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• Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Josephine Cox was born in 1941 in a cotton-mill house in Blackburn, Lancashire in the north of England. Her family was very large and poor. She was the sixth out of ten children and married her husband, Ken, when she was sixteen years old and had two sons.

When her sons started school, she went to college and after completing her studies was accepted at Cambridge University but couldn’t go because of having to leave her family, living away from home. Instead she worked as a teacher.

Josephine Cox wrote her first novel while working as a teacher, before dedicating herself full-time to writing. She has also written novels under the pseudonym, Jane Brindle.

In 2011 she won the “Superwoman of Great Britain” award and was number seven on the official UK best-sellers top fifty and was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Romantic Novelist Association. She has written nearly forty novels to date. Her first, Let Loose The Tigers was published in 1988, The Loner in 2007 and her latest novel, Three Letters was published in February 2012.

She lives in a small village in Woburn Sands, Buckinghamshire, near her two sons and their families.

Josephine Cox is a good story teller and her novels are always best sellers. She once said: “I could never imagine a single day without writing and it’s been that way since as far back as I can remember”.

Afflicted by the worst nightmarish night in his life, Davie Adams, the main character of The Loner, is a vulnerable teenager who decides to escape from the family home in Blackburn. His decision is taken after the sudden departure of his father, Don, that same night in great anger and despair and the tragic and unexpected death of his alcoholic, uncontrollably loose, young mother, Rita, also the same night. Davie leaves his beloved maternal grandfather, Joseph, behind.

Davie makes the firm decision to find his father but without success. Weary, disillusioned and far from home, he is determined to earn his living like an adult by accepting whatever job he can find along the way.

Despite what the title of the novel suggests, Davie is not aloof or a loner and can get along and make friends easily. He is very fond of Judy, his childhood friend and finds her a pillar of support. Later in the story he is attracted to Lucy, the daughter of his respected employer, Frank. Lucy is madly in love with Davie. She is impatient and starts making plans for their marriage. Davie is also a faithful friend and keeps in touch with his dear old friend, Eli, who reminds him of his grandfather. He opens-up to Lucy’s housekeeper and cook, Maggie, and takes her into his confidence by telling her about his long friendship with Judy back home in Blackburn. Davie, throughout the novel, has family, friends and acquaintances.

The story moves very slowly for no reason. The setting of the story takes too long and could have been made shorter. On the other hand, the ending is accelerated. It’s an unpretentious romantic, dramatic story with a happy ending. An easy read.

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Category: Book Reviews  | One Comment
Author:
• Friday, October 24th, 2008

Susie Vereker, daughter of an army officer, was born in the Lake District in northern England. She spent a great deal of her life travelling, first with her parents and later with her diplomat husband. She was in Germany, Thailand, Australia, Greece, Switzerland and France, and spent much of her life trying to adapt to the countries and their traditions.

She became a widow in 2001 after a long and happy marriage, has three sons, and now lives in a small Hampshire village in the south of England. Susie Vereker was nominated for the RNA Foster Grant Award 2006, for her novel Pond Lane and Paris.

Susie Vereker has written three books to date:
Pond Lane and Paris published in 2005.
An Old-Fashioned Arrangement published in 2006.
Paris Imperfect will be published in December 2008.

An Old-Fashioned Arrangement, like the Pilot’s wife by Anita Shreve, commences with a wife who receives the visit of her husband’s office colleagues, at home early one morning. They announce his death in a plane crash in the Indonesian jungle, while on a business trip. Bewildered and under the shock, Kim, the charismatic and life-like main character, tries to gather all her strength in order to sort things out for the sake of her 11-year old son, James. Like Kathryn did the best she could to protect her 16-year old daughter Mattie in The Pilot’s Wife.

But unlike The Pilot’s Wife, the atmosphere in the Old-Fashioned Arrangement is less gloomy, less cold and oppressive. The story takes place in beautiful, peaceful and wealthy Geneva, which contrasts with the state of destitution that English expatriate Kim finds herself thrown into after her husband’s sudden, unexpected death. She is penniless, she has been following her unreliable, egoistic husband, Richard, round the world without any pension or cover scheme, even the money in their bank account has been withdrawn by him.

She will now have to leave the comfortable house in the privileged Genevan suburb, Cologny, within a month, without knowing where to go. Her Swiss neighbour and landlord, Henri, who always silently fancied her, besides liking her son James, proposed “An Old- Fashioned Arrangement” to her. “The arrangement” was meant to help Kim solve her financial problems and lead a care free life without uprooting her young son.

Kim is in her forties and Henri is a refined old gentleman who loves women. For her to become his mistress is against her ethics. She goes through a dilemma before accepting the proposal, but finally, having no family, hardly any friends and no home base due to her nomadic life, Kim sees no other choice but to follow her female instinct and succumbs to the offer. She accepts the deal for the security of herself and her son and not out of love.

But she will end up loving and caring for her guardian angel, Henri, to the extent of refusing the advances of Mark, the handsome English diplomat she happened to meet after her relationship with Henri. But after Henri dies, Kim who now knows the taste of freedom, will take more care before accepting to marry Mark. She will want to know him better before tying her life to his. Age and experience have taught Kim to be wiser, rational and less emotional.

Kim didn’t love her husband, Richard. She was even thinking of a divorce and his death would have been a relief if it wasn’t for the lack of money to survive. All these years she depended on her husband and now she will learn,at last,what it feels like to be emancipated.

The characters in the novel are very realistic, humane and well portrayed, any woman in the world can identify with Kim’s big problem, which makes it difficult for readers not to feel involved, especially with the author’s endearing and humoristic style of writing.

Although lighthearted, this novel treats a serious issue and has several unexpected suspense elements, in combination with a few twists, which makes it difficult to put down.