Local Author’s Charming Read

Book Review

I’m putting this review in because I know that sometimes a local author gets overlooked because they are not writing for the mass market. Peter George’s Mr Tim is a lovely book with a real heart to it, and leaves the reader with a feel-good aftertaste which is good for us surely.

Charming and Easy Read

Mr Tim, the new novel by local author and poet Peter George, is a period piece, re-creating the 1950s with a deft hand for detail.Because of the kindly eye with which the author captures the period this book will be enjoyable to older readers as a way of re-capturing their early years. Equally the quaintness of its attitudes and manners may well appeal to young people with an interest in what their elders got up to in those days!

It is a story of a trainee land agent, whose job takes him to live and work in rural Wales, right in the heart of a local community unused to incomers. It carries echoes of other ‘rites of passage’ novels, bringing to mind James Herriot’s veterinary stories, and Thomas Hardy’s Under the Greenwood Tree. Each one of them follows an outsider’s journey into a close-knit, traditionally-minded community. But Mr Tim’s special quality for readers in Wales is in the details with which he describes the environment. The culture, the people, and the landscape of Wales are captured skilfully by one who has lived amongst them. The scenes described blend together to produce some very amusing action, and characters, like ‘Gramps’, the old man who is full of advice and wisdom but not beyond displaying a sly humour. In describing the typical adventures of the inexperienced young Tim, we watch him grow as he attempts to fit in and to become the more mature, Mr Tim, accepted by the locals. Being away from home, and without parental guidance, he stumbles through the challenges of his working life, and through the more intimate adventures which come his way, without suffering any real harm. His mistakes, of course, are seen to help him to gain confidence, and ultimately to enable him to act on the first stirrings of  love in his life. Though it is written with real humour and some very funny moments, Mr Tim’s story also carries a genuine sense of the uncertainties through which ordinary people travelled in the years following the second world war. Having experienced those difficult times together, community life was strong in a way long gone, when people knew and trusted their neighbours and were willing to help and support those who fell or could not do for themselves. That said, this is not a serious book and its light-hearted charm genuinely leaves the reader with a smile.

Mr Tim by Peter George is published by Cam Ffoi and can be ordered from bookshops and purchased online from Amazon where it is also available as an ebook.

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Unexpected Synchronisities

For the cover illustration of my next Kindle book, I recently settled on using my own design from a leaflet at least twenty years old, once used to advertise astrological consultations. I thought it was bold an original, not only for itself, but on a book, something surprisingly different. Imagine my surprise when days after having made the decision, a book from Amazon which was pre-ordered (before any images of it were around) arrived in the post. The Heresy of Dr Dee by Phil Rickman has been long awaited by me since I heard him speak about it at the Penfro Book Festival. The cover is so like mine apart from the overall colour being dark blue, rather than pale neutral that I keep picking it up and looking at it, wondering how this has come about. It displays a  single central mandala, with an esoteric message, which is exactly what mine shows. Its message appears to be either sephiroth maybe or some aspect of kabbalah. My own mandala carries planetary symbols and words in English which carry the validation for such studies as astrology ‘To Contemplate the Past and Future brings Meaning  to the Present.’ This is an important truism. The words suggest that by casting an eye over what has gone before and what route may arise from it,  we can become more centred in the now. I wonder what the meaning of the mandala on the book about Dr Dee, the most famous astrologer in history, might be ? Perhaps I will discover when I read the book, which is hopefully, going to be my week-end treat.