The last post in the series where authors have shared an extract from a previous book and today author J. A. Newman shares a passage from her memoir No One Comes Close
About the book
Many women dream from time to time of the man they would have married if only circumstances had allowed, but very few attempt a solution.
No One Comes Close is a true story of how one woman, unhappy in her marriage, set out to find her first love and the consequences it incurred.
An extract from No One Comes Close – MONDAY 20 FEBRUARY 1967
There was no remedy for a fractured pelvis – they couldn’t plaster it in that awkward place – I just had to wait for it to mend. Whenever I tried to sit up the pain beat me back, so I had to be fed like a baby. Added to this was the indignity of the bed pans and the bed-baths. I hadn’t had anyone to wash me ‘down there’ since I was a toddler. The ward was full of old women with fractures who had been there for weeks and who screamed for the nurses every night.
I felt very lonely.
I had been in hospital five days when Mum told me that Ron would be coming to see me.
On the one hand I couldn’t wait, but on the other, I didn’t want him to see me like this. I asked one of the nurses to take out my powder compact from the locker so I could apply some make-up. Not an easy task whilst lying down – gravity dictated that bits of make-up fell onto my face.
I lay with my eyes fixed on the clock above the double doors. At seven-thirty they suddenly burst open and the visitors poured in. But no Ron. Another twenty minutes dragged by,
‘Gee, sorry I’m late. What a dead ‘n’ alive place Dartford is!’
His eyes scanned my vulnerable body clad only in a pink nylon nightie, the sheets pushed down to my waist. He handed me a box of Black Magic chocolates and a get-well card; but I felt helpless when I couldn’t reach the locker. I put them on the bed and managed a smile.
He sat awkwardly at my bedside. His grey eyes crinkled. ‘I still haven’t seen you in that royal blue nightie.’
If he was trying to make me feel better it didn’t work. Oh, how I wished I could see him under different circumstances! He talked, mainly about work, but I felt so proud to have him there. I kept glancing at the clock, willing the hands to stand still. He asked what had happened to Marie; I hadn’t seen her since the night of the accident.
‘She’s in another ward; a few cuts on her face and mild concussion, but she’s fine apart from that.’
If she can walk, why hasn’t she been to see me?
He was going to see if he could find her but I gripped his hand – I wanted him to stay with me.
At eight thirty the bell rang signalling the end of visiting time. I ached for him to stay. He leaned over and kissed me goodbye. ‘I’ll try and get over next Sunday. Look after yourself.’
I watched him walk through the doors and wished away the hours and days until I saw him again.
Two young Irish nurses came to make me more comfortable.
‘Was that your boyfriend, Julie?’ asked one.
She winked. ‘Very nice! Very nice indeed!’
One of the reviews for the book
What if someone contacts you after several years: someone to whom you’ve been attracted, someone you’ve often wondered … what if?
Julie Newman’s memoir takes that as its starting point: a message out of the blue she’s received. Her marriage to Mel is colourless, uninteresting. Ron, all the way out there in Australia, seems to have settled on his feet. It’s very beautiful out there and he’s done well for himself. But is he really happy with Claudette?
Is his contact with Julie more than just a hello and how are you? Could there really be a future with him: one that could make them both happy until death us do part?
Ron’s the opposite of Mel and the full colour version of everything that Julie is missing from her bland everyday routine, or so she thinks. The wheels are set in motion as Julie responds to his request to re-establish contact, even if it means a long journey for one of them. She needs to be sure of its final destination, doesn’t she? What if?
Newman’s journal style book is an easy read in attention-span chunks. As Julie and Ron circle each other her writing becomes ever more intimate, to the point where the reader feels they are intruding in an almost voyeuristic way. Diaries are after all meant to be read only by their composer: a way of pouring out their emotions to the one person they always turn to for advice – themselves.
In drawing us in to the plot of the will-they-won’t-they we become even more entangled in the cups of tea and stolen moments, eagerly watching for the final moments, to discover whether love will find a way. Or just head for the exit.
Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK
And: Amazon US
Also by J.A. Owens
Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK
And: Amazon US
About J.A. Newman
J.A. Newman was born in Kent. As a young child she relied heavily on her imagination to amuse herself. At primary school she was repeatedly told off for daydreaming and at senior school she filled her rough note books with comic strip stories. On leaving school she enjoyed a career in hairdressing and owned her own business whilst living in Hertfordshire. In 2008 she retired to Cornwall with her husband where she found inspiration for much of her writing.
J.A.Newman has kept a diary for most of her life, the inspiration for her memoir titled ‘No One Comes Close’. This is an emotional roller-coaster set in 1966 and 1987, published in 2017.
Her second publication, published in 2018, ‘Where There’s a Will’, is a lighthearted tale of rags to riches.
And last but by no means least ,’Bay of Secrets’ is a haunting novel of intrigue, love and loss set in her favourite part of Cornwall.
She is currently researching for a historical novel set in the English Civil War.
Connect to Julie Newman
Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to explore Julie’s books in more detail… thanks Sally.