Being in self-isolation with her husband helped local author Edna Hunneysett meet her challenge of finishing her latest book in time for her 80th birthday in July, writes MIKE MORRISEY.
Great-grandmother Edna’s Greener Pastures And Brown Blazers is a heart-warming story of growing up in the early 1950s, continuing a semi-biographical account of her life from her first novel, Greener Beyond The Hill.
The reader is given the experience of an eleven-year-old on a winding journey from leaving her farm and beloved family for the first time, to venturing out into the wider world of boarding school life in Scarborough after passing the eleven-plus exam in 1951.
It gives a personal insight into the challenge of living a life of total contrast between home and school and how five years of studies as a boarder with its rigorous discipline and strict routine, is balanced with helping at home with the ever-expanding family, amid the stark living conditions on an isolated farm on the North York Moors.
After arriving at the boarding school, how does Emma adapt to not seeing her family for seven weeks? Will life be the same when she returns home? Will two-year-old Jacob remember her? What of her twelve-year-old sister Martha with whom she is closely bonded and who did not pass the second half of the eleven plus exam and who remains at the village school? Will their relationship be affected?
Will Emma’s expectations of a more exciting life be fulfilled? Will Emma’s ability to achieve academically help her overcome her lack of confidence and the scrutiny from day pupils, who find her broad Yorkshire accent amusing, who are amazed that she isn’t a regular attendee at a local cinema, that she has never been to a swimming pool and who are curious as to what she does in the evenings?
The book spans five years and tells of lasting friendships, learning to swim, passing exams and the inevitable boy interests, village dances and motorbike rides. Readers can experience first hand the many adventures that include solving a long-held secret involving a best friend.
This is a most enjoyable read and is heartily recommended.
Copies are available from the mental health publisher Chipmunka Publishing here and are priced £12.