The ‘Darlington and Stockton times’ (front page) and the ‘Northern Echo’ both published reports about ‘Crossing the Water’: both focused on the incident which opens the book in 1919 – as related to Ian by Sheila’s father Frank Ryan, who witnessed it. Images of these reports can be viewed here.
The ‘Northern Echo’ also published an article by Ian, “Running Wild in Weardale”, an account of his idyllic childhood visits to the dale, along with some quirky tales from family history, and a brief mention of the book. That article can be read here.
Ian was also interviewed about the book by John Foster on BBC Radio Tees, and a recording of the interview can be heard here.
Finally, the editor of the Weardale Gazette published a very, very positive review of the book on 27 August; “the most gripping and memorable story I have read…I thoroughly recommend it to everyone”. The full review is shown below:
Professor Alan Carr, University College Dublin: “A coming of age novel with a difference… ‘Crossing the Water’ begins against the backdrop of the Irish civil war when two boys are caught in an incident which will change their lives forever. They take different paths, but their lives remain linked in distinctive ways as a tale of friendship and conflict, loyalty and emigration, love and war unfolds. The novel spans three continents (Europe, America and India) and three decades (1919-1946) during which the central characters and their families experience the joys of life but also struggle with the realities of separation, trauma and loss. Ian’s background as a clinical psychologist informs his descriptions of both the problems that befall his characters and their resilience and coping methods. However, what makes this an exceptionally memorable novel is his empathy for his characters and his thoughtful storytelling … a masterpiece.”
Elizabeth Taylor, Librarian: “Describes the journey of two Irish lads from the trouble torn Ireland of the 1920s to the end of the Second World War; plus, the decisions they must make in loyalty and love. A great read for book groups.”
Chris LLoyd, the Northern Echo: “weaves a dramatic story from his wife’s family, about the murderous machinations and strange secrets of life during the Irish troubles, with other exciting tales from the second world war era…”
Public review on Amazon.co.uk: “The novel opens with a dramatic incident which draws the reader into the story of the lives of two young boys in Ireland. The writer gives a very readable flavour of Ireland, the Irish people and history during the 1920’s. This turbulent time in history is well portrayed. The story contains lovely descriptive passages and makes this first novel of Ian Wilkinson a joy to read. The reader is witness to the lives of these boys as they transform into men. The writer uses beautiful metaphors of music within his portrayal of romantic interludes. I fully recommend this book as a good read.” by ‘Carole’ (5 stars)
The book ‘Crossing the Water’ is officially launched and the feedback so far is both consistent and very satisfying. The most common comments are that it’s a very gripping and exciting story, and the characters are easy to identify with. Others make reference to the unusual historical aspects; how events such as the Irish civil war were brought alive. The other consistent theme concerns the quality of the book production and its appearance.
Press reviews will appear soon in The Northern Echo and the Weardale Gazette.
This book is listed on and fulfilled by amazon, so prime and super saver (free) delivery can apply. It can also be ordered in any Waterstones branch and we have applied to get the book on the WHSmith system but this may take a few weeks. (see HOW TO ORDER for your options)
Locally stocks are available in: Guru, Darlington; the Weardale museum, Ireshopeburn; the Village bookshop, Middleton in Teesdale.
Copies of ‘Crossing the water’ are available to buy now… with free UK postage for retail orders, and discounts for library and trade orders…
It’s arrived! All that preparation is now being tested out; Makri press is officially open for business. Pre-release orders are now being taken for “Crossing the Water” (with a choice of signed or unsigned copies).
See the menu item ORDERS above
Makri press is now registered with Nielsen ISBN agency and our first book is in the process of being prepared for print by CPI Antony Rowe, one of the major printing companies in the UK
A publishing company with an enigmatic name…
…just over one thousand years ago pirate raids ravaged the coast of Lycia, destroying the island city of Karmylessos. The survivors built new homes inland at Makri; the ‘new place.’