Wednesday, 13 June 2012

A review by Peter Bell ~

Sketch of the Elephantback Safaris in the Okavango Delta by Sophie Neville

Ride the Wings of Morning (lovely title) is a terrific sequel to Sophie's marvellous Funnily Enough; further following her life of extraordinary exploits and adventures, now in southern Africa. Some horrific, most delightful, but all fascinating and very amusingly told by way of correspondence to and from her more conventional sisters. Her parents and many friends from Africa also feature as do a veritable profusion of Sophie's joyful and individual style of sketches, drawings and paintings that have become even more assured as time progressed. Many are brilliant! (Especially her splendid cartoons!)

Sophie has a wonderful knack of inclusion of her readers in all her writing. She is very observant, particularly of the absurd, the ridiculous and comic juxtapositions as well as the mundane and it shows in the great warmth, engaging honesty and infectious humour in her writing. The reader is privileged that she shares this somewhat maverick part of her life in which she gives so much of herself. Again! I was ever more captivated by this book but in a slightly different way to Funnily Enough. A truly fascinating read from much obviously painstaking work.

Only a full read of this marvellous 542-page book can do it the justice it deserves that no review of mine can hope to achieve. Unplug the phone, shut out the English 'summer' and indulge yourself with Sophie in the warmth of her true life in a world so far apart from your own! She is a uniquely talented and individual person and this extraordinary work is to be deeply savoured and enjoyed. Tops on any scale of hugs and highly recommended by me as one of many here. The printed editions are to keep for ever.
Thank you so much, Sophie. Thanks also to Perry, Tamzin, and 'Mum and Dad'. I really look forward with great enthusiasm to the promised next instalment. Quite lovely!

Peter Bell on Ride the Wings of Morning

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