Mrs Book Burney
My Reading Narnia
The Wee Bookworm
Reading through the Looking Glass
Bianca Reads Books
These Sisters Read
What a warm, enjoyable read this was. The author Gill Oliver clearly has intimate knowledge on the subject but tells the story with great humour. A family hit by devastating illness, displaying great fortitude, human spirit, strength, determination and above all love. Really well written and a real joy to read. I couldn’t put this book down. Eagerly looking forward to reading Amateurs. If Joe Faber and the Optimists is anything to go by, it will be a joy. Highly recommended
This isn’t a book I would usually have picked up, but I’m so glad I had the chance to read it. I found all the characters that surrounded Joe very endearing and loved the stories that surrounded him and them, and his recovery after a stroke. This is a subject I don’t really know much about, and to be honest, haven’t thought about before. I found the story entertaining (there’s a lot of humour) but also informative. As a musician (although it’s been a while), I enjoyed those parts of the story as well as the manic wedding planning, which I have also experienced! Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would recommended it to others.
"What a great read, after her husband Joe has a stroke Fran and their family must rally round to see Joe through his recovery. While this was an emotional subject, and very sensitively handled, there were some real moments of humour in there too which made it all the more realistic. There were other elements at work in the story which all tied in with Joe and his new life. I think this really gave the story a lot of character.I loved the fiddle and Shetland parts, I have been to Shetland once and completely fell in love so these sections of the book were such a delight. Really well written, a lovely, uplifting story."
My Reading Narnia
"Life changes dramatically for the Faber family after Joe has a stroke. His wife suddenly finds herself responsible for the upkeep of everything, the house, finances and caring for her husband. Their Daughter Jess who is due to marry soon, gets the job opportunity of a life time to play at the Shetland folk frenzy. As Joe starts to make progress in his rehabilitation, seeing his daughter play at the festival becomes his number one goal.This book doesn’t just focus on Joe , it follows the family and their associated friends through his road to recovery and the changes that occur as they journey towards a new normal. This is a very positive and realistic portrayal of life after a stroke. I laughed out loud at times and also shed a tear or two. A hopeful and optimistic story that I’d recommend everyone to read, whether stroke has affected your life or not."
Maressa Mortimer@Vicarious living
"“For months she’d fixed her eyes on the road ahead, and never once allowed herself to look back at what was lost.” This lovely book, Joe Faber and the Optimists, is written by Gill Oliver and is all about Joe Faber, a wonderful, funny and artistic man. Joe builds models until he suffers a stroke. Fran, Joe’s wife, copes well, but there is also their daughter Jess, a very skilled music player. She plays the fiddle, and her father’s stroke really hits her hard. Fran thinks of ways to handle the next few days and weeks and comes up with a manifesto. The idea is to be an optimist, to look for positives and celebrate each one. She manages to persuade Jess and Jess’s fiancé Matt, to join in with the manifesto. It’s so poignant to read their little moments of triumph, looking for things to smile about. Joe is funny, and the story is full of hope.There are so many wonderful storylines within this book, like the invitation Jess receives to play in a big music festival in the Shetland Islands. The descriptions are gorgeous, making you feel part of their lives. I love fiddle music, and I could just picture the music Jess played for us, and there are parts where the descriptions are filled with emotion. Even now, I can still imagine the special song, Joe Faber’s Air. Then there are the wedding plans, accompanied by hilarious friends and relatives, all so clearly drawn for us, that you feel you’re wandering around reception halls together. Matt the fiancé made me laugh; his way of looking at life is interesting, but he’s a lovely guy, and it’s his thoughtfulness and quiet kindness that makes Fran realise that all this time she has been looking ahead, staying positive, but there had been no time to grieve. I loved that part, as it’s so easy to get carried away by circumstances. Matt is so different, and I enjoyed reading how he becomes more and more part of the family. The book is wonderfully positive and makes you smile and tap your feet along with the reels and music Jess gets out of her fiddle. There are moments of harsh reality as well though, and my heart went out to them all. It meant that I couldn’t put the book down, I needed to read more about their hopes, fears, dreams and struggles. There are the in-laws for example… Gill Oliver, the author, wrote this book, basing it on her husband’s stroke, and what they went through, and are still going through, as a family. It made this beautiful story even more special. It made me wonder all through the book, Is that what it was like for them? It also meant that the book is detailed and involved, poignant as well as uplifting. As I said, it’s a real page-turner, sweet, funny, heartwarming as well as heartbreaking."