Review: Self Contained, by Emma John

Cassell
6 May 2021 | £12.99 | Hardback

Raw and hilarious memoir of a life-long single from award-winning author
and journalist, Emma John.

Emma is in her 40s; she is neither married, nor partnered, with child or planning to be. Self-Contained captures what it is to be single in your forties, from sharing a twin room with someone you’ve never met on a group holiday (because the couples have all the doubles with ensuite) to coming to the realisation that maybe your singleness isn’t a temporary arrangement, that maybe you aren’t pre-married at all, and in fact you are self-contained.

It explores the unpartnered life as never before, joyfully celebrating individuality in a world built for two. This is the book to confront the commonly held assumption that life is less full and less-fulfilled if lived singly.

‘I wrote this book because I don’t want to be haunted by the word “spinster” any more!’

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Extract Post: The Cracks That Let The Light In, by Jessica Moxham

4 MARCH 2021 • £12.99 HARDBACK • ENDEAVOUR


“The Cracks That Let the Light In is about what happened when it felt like my life had fallen apart and how I put it back together. It’s about family, love and how to be happy when your life turns out nothing like you planned.”

Jessica Moxham thought she was prepared for the experience of motherhood. Armed with advice from friends and family, parenting books and antenatal classes, she felt ready. But after giving birth, she found herself facing a different, more uncertain reality to the one she had expected. Her son, Ben, was fighting to stay alive. Even when Jessica could finally take him home from hospital, the challenges were far from over.
Ben’s disability means he needs help with all aspects of his daily life. Jessica has had to learn how to feed Ben when he can’t eat, wrestle with red tape to secure his education and defend his basic rights in the face of discrimination.

In this uplifting and hopeful memoir, Jessica shares her challenging and emotional journey. As Ben begins to thrive, alongside his two younger siblings, Jessica finds that caring for a child with unique needs teaches her about resilience, appreciating difference and doing things your own way.

This powerful story is about the strength of family love, inner strength and hope. It is a story of motherhood.

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Review: In Black and White, by Alexandra Wilson

Alexandra Wilson was a teenager when her dear family friend Ayo was stabbed on his way home from football. Ayo’s death changed Alexandra. His death compelled her to enter the legal profession to search for answers.
As a junior criminal and family law barrister she finds herself navigating a world and a set of rules designed by a privileged few. A world in which barristers sigh with relief at the retirement of a racist judge: ‘I’ve got a black kid today and he would have had no hope.’

In her debut book In Black and White, Alexandra beautifully re-creates the tense court room scenes, the heart-breaking meetings with teenage clients and the moments of frustration and triumph that make up a young barrister’s life.

Alexandra speaks with raw honesty about her experience as a mixed-race woman from a non-traditional background in a profession that is sorely lacking in diverse representation. A justice system in which a disproportionately large number of black and mixed-race people are charged, convicted and sent to prison.

She shows us how it feels to defend someone who hates the colour of your skin or someone you suspect is guilty, and the heart-breaking youth justice cases she has worked on. We see what it’s like for the teenagers coerced into county line drug deals and the damage that can be caused when we criminalise teenagers.

Her account of what she has witnessed as a young mixed-race barrister is in equal parts shocking, compelling, confounding and powerful. Alexandra’s story is unique in a profession still dominated by a section of society with little first-hand experience of the devastating impact of violent crime.

Endeavour • 13th August 2020
£16.99 • Hardback

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Review: Operation Jihadi Bride, by John Carney with Clifford Thurlow

Blurb

Would you turn your back on a teenage Jihadi bride and her innocent children?

‘Jihad isn’t a war. It’s an objective. An aberration. If there are young women with children, lost boys… If they are trapped in that hell and we can get them out, don’t we have a duty to do so? Every person we can bring back is living proof that Islamic State is a failure.’

Ex-British Army Soldier, John Carney, ran a close protection operation in Iraq for oil executives when he was asked by the family of a young Dutch woman to extract her from the collapsing Islamic State in Syria. Hearing first-hand of the shocking living hell of tricked naive young girls, many from the West, trapped, sexually abused and enslaved by ISIS, he knew only one thing – he had to get them out.

Armed with AK-47s and 9mm Glocks, he launched a daring, dangerous and deadly operation to free as many as he could. With a small band of committed Kurdish freedom fighters, backed by humanitarian NGOs, and feeding intel to MI6, Carney and his men went behind enemy lines in the heart of the Syrian lead storm, risking their lives to deliver the women and their children to the authorities, to de-radicalisation programmes and fair trials.

Gripping, shocking and thought-provoking, Operation Jihadi Bride takes the complex issue of the Jihadi brides head-on – a vital read for our troubled times.

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