The Novels

Adventures In Time And Weather

Most of us are more blessed than we know. It’s in our nature to be aware of what we lack, but with practice we can change our awareness.
This isn’t a How To sort of book though, it’s an invitation to take a walk, through a year in which some things go right and some don’t. 
Set in Cornwall, England, the true story of a coffee addled writer learning that practicing mindfulness by paying attention to the present moment is what fulfils life's potential.


'I spent a year in Cornwall with a lovely woman. Not really, but after reading this book I feel like I did. Lisa beautifully took me through each month in Cornwall noting the wonder of every day life there. The imagery her writing evokes is beautiful. I can see, smell, and feel everything from the draft coming under the front door, to the icy prickliness of the waves as she swims in them, to the sand stuck to her feet as she drives home.

Her writing style is so beautiful I underlined lots of paragraphs and found myself stopping to re-read them because they were so beautifully written. Here are some examples:

"Later, the sky is full of blue clouds. Splotchy like one blue sock with unfixed dye went in the cloud washing machine."

"Sleep is a heavy tide, pulling at my ankles."

"If you are not your own kind of beautiful no diet can help, nor any helpline, book, relationship, nor any open clear road."

And this is probably my most favorite line: "What occurs in our minds affects reality. The details we attend to, the moods we connect with, because this is selective, this is how we are writing our own stories; we edit from raw material. Like all simple tasks it is difficult to perfect. Practice must be perpetual."

I mean if that alone doesn't make you want to pick this book up and read it, you have no soul.

A brief but beautiful book. One I will read over and again.'


The Small Histories Of Anya Polgarrick

Anya Polgarrick, from a small Cornish town, disappointed in life and love, elopes at 16 with an older man whose descent into alcoholism brings violence, isolation and poverty. She struggles to keep herself and her sons safe. When she eventually remarries, it’s not the happy ending she had envisaged.
Happiness, however, does not elude her. 
Friendships and a random death help to convert her experience and resilience to a gleefully positive force.

Reviews : 

'Wow. This book is so well-written, it made me feel like I was reading one of the old classics, and it was expanding my literary I.Q. or something. It's the kind of book that deeply satisfies and makes you feel good for having read it.

This is a realistic tale spanning multiple decades of a woman's life, during which she encounters some people who cause her great hardships and others who help her overcome them. Like Sisyphus endlessly rolling that boulder of his, Anya, one part resilient and one part complacent, endures by accepting her circumstances and making the best of them as long as she can, and then with great determination, she moves past them when necessary. She simply keeps on keeping on. And on.

Containing prose that is both lyrical and evocative, this is neither a depressing book nor a particularly uplifting one... other than the sheer pleasure of reading it... but the story feels so... real. So raw. It provides an unvarnished glimpse of a somewhat ordinary, but tough, life led by a somewhat ordinary, but extraordinary young woman.'


'I really enjoyed this book, and the style. Anya has endured such sadness but the story is heartwarming through the friendships and strength and steadfastness of female characters (and increasingly from her stepfather). Sadly some of the friendships seemed not to endure physical separation but were lifesaving of themselves. I was pleased there was no saccharine happy ending, but reflectiveness and gladness of now independent, grown up children and the potential of happiness and friendships yet to arrive. Will be sharing this with my fledgeling book club!'
[Trigger warnings: violence, sexual violence, baby loss, this makes the book sound terrible but these subjects are not the main events.]


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