Some of you may remember the following when I was writing in the blog about my early life;
this was in the sixties;
“I learned a lot working back stage on ‘The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll’ and had dreams of directing a play myself. At the wrap party Pete the director, introduced me to his wife, Julia. I had heard a lot about her. She was a writer, producer and actress and about ten years older than me. I heard her before I saw her and she was clearly a ball of fire – surrounded by a group of appreciative listeners whilst she held the floor. What intrigued me was the fact that she was lively and bouncy with black hair and a pale face but with tragic eyes. I recognised that look of a hidden sadness and when we were introduced the recognition was mutual.
We became friends – kindred spirits really - and when I saw her productions and saw her acting I realised how very talented she was. I told her I would be happy to help in any way in her next production although I was getting a variety of acting parts. I must have had a good report from Pete because she asked me to be assistant producer on her next play. She said I would have to take rehearsals when she was kept in town so it would be great experience.”
Julia was not her real name and she is less than ten years older. Sadly distance and mobility problems mean we are kept apart now but frequently have long animated telephone conversations about the fun we had, the holiday in
, the friends now departed and the
productions we were involved in. She was a magnificent Martha in the production
I am most proud of: “Who’s afraid of
Virginia Woolf?” Venice
In spite of failing eyesight Jean is still working and has just had one of her older books published as an ebook. Here is what I wrote about it:_
The Country Doctor.
As a teenager Linda was inspired by Marie Curie and dreamed of changing the medical world by a breakthrough in research, but during her training an encounter with a patient made it clear to her that direct contact with people was what she really wanted.
Having completed her training and ended a painful love affair she flees to the West Country to take up a six month post in General Practice under the auspices of the elderly Dr Ford. His patience and wisdom helps Linda to temper her passions and to try to remain objective. His son is not so patient, resulting in a few spats between the two young people.
Living in the West Country for almost 30 years it is clear to me that the author knows the people and their ‘country ways’ She lets the characters speak for themselves and from the feckless Damerel family to the fearsome Commander they become real people. She conjures up not only the charm of the countryside but also the tastes and smells and I learned a new expression – to ‘bell the cat.’ Google tells me it is to do a daring deed.
Linda is a heroine I can empathise with and I enjoyed reading how she overcomes local prejudices because she’s pretty, a woman, an incomer and ‘not the proper doctor.’
I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in return for an honest review.