is a book that you will find difficult to put down, for as you read
you will be drawn into the life of the Ridley family. You will find
yourself sitting amidst them in the crowded little cabin of their narrow
boat, toasting your feet in front of the stove and sipping hot black
tea laced with plenty of sugar, as you listen to one of Ma’s tales
about Grandma Annie which will make your hair stand on end.
The story is told through the eyes of Jessie, the Ridley’s eldest
daughter. In simple words "our Jess" will let you peep beneath
the rough, tough exterior of her family to get a glimpse of their tender
feelings, their honesty and loyalty.
It was a tough life for "boaties" working on the English canals
in the early 19th century. Up at the crack of dawn and working against
time and severe weather conditions, to deliver their precious cargo.
The pay was barely enough to survive on but you won’t hear the
Ridley’s complaining. Far from it, they love their freedom and
feel they are a lot better off than most.
There will be adventures and tragedies along the way, yet the Ridley
family will ride the waves and stick together through thick and thin.
Olivia Sinton - Iowa, USA
Josh' is a wonderfully, captivating story, about one family's trials
and tribulations, of their lives on the canal. The hardships and prejudices
they had to face on a daily basis. It also shows how they supported
and drew strength from each other.
After reading 'Our Josh', and I don't want to give anything away, but
it left me desperately wanting to know more. What does happen next?
There are so many unanswered questions and I can't help wanting to know
So, here's to the next chapter in 'Our Josh's life, or Jessie's.....that's
if she wishes to tell it, which I really do hope she does.
Sally Lee - Bristol
"I read it from cover to
cover in two days, not able to put it down until I came to the end....and
even then I still wanted more!" Sally Morton.
"What an amazing read! A wonderful heart rending story!
I just couldn't put it down.......What happens next?.... When does the
sequel come out?" Mandi Lee.
"I was born on a narra'boat, moored up at Brentford Lock
in 1951. Lived and worked on boats all me life, never read nothing as
real as this, it's just like she was there 'erself."
"I took it on a long train journey, thinking it would help
to pass the time. I couldn't believe it when four hours had passed and
I arrived at my destination....... I didn't want to stop reading,
but I had to get off the train!" Vikki Barnes.
"I was born on the 'orse-drawn narra'boat 'Persia' in 1903.
I read the book thinkin' it'd be all the same old romanticised stuff,
but Suzie has written it down just as it was, I could see and 'ear all
the boaties there, as if I'd knowed them all............ brought tears
to me eyes!"