Friday, 2 March 2012

Reviews of Funnily Enough ~


‘Funnily Enough’ is a joy to read ~

I didn’t know what to expect when I picked up this book. I didn’t expect to be reading it two hours later. I was gripped from the first page. It is not just the humour that carries one through, or the wish to discover more about M.E., but it is a curiosity to know more about the fascinating life that Sophie was leading and the characters around her that are drawn so well for us. There is never a dull moment. Bring on the next one Sophie. We’re waiting!
small figure at the washing line

I actually couldn’t put this book down. It is a very interesting account of Sophie’s life while living back at home with ME but is also absolutely hilarious in places. I would recommend it to anyone whether suffering with ME or not.  Sara Maughan 

Sophie Neville

Thoughtful, interesting and entertaining ~

I really loved this book which was quite a surprise to me as I was not sure I wanted to read about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (M.E) or someone else’s faith but it was brilliant and made me laugh throughout. How could one not enjoy a book that is so full of wonderful characters drawn from family, friends, colleagues, otters, parrots, dogs and others? The author observes life carrying on around her while she is too ill to partake and weaves her story of illness, exhaustion, despair, hope, faith and recovery with skill, perception, humour and a light and very individual touch. I look forward to reading Sophie Neville’s next book. Mrs. J.C. Heron

Dove Frieze

Secret Diary of a Film & TV Star ~

This is a fantastic book which really delivers what it promises! If you want a true insight on behind-the-scenes family life of the British upper-classes and their adventures working in film & television on shows that you will have heard of, including Eastenders and Doctor Who - from acting and directing to supplying the frisky animals which appear on wildlife programmes and as TV ‘pets’ – it provides a funny and heart-warming portrayal which will have you smiling on every page, even through the toughest and most bizarre of times.

And on the subject matter of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (M.E), an illness that doctors were only just starting to grasp at the time, it provides a journey with the author Sophie’s experience through the recovery period, encounters with a menagerie of alternative therapies, and those dark moments when it seemed only God could be paying attention.

Down-to-Earth, uplifting and funny – exactly what it says on the cover! And the illustrations by Sophie are cute and quirky, reminiscent of Quentin Blake. Highly recommended. Review by Lisa Scullard 

 Funnily Enough by Sophie Neville ~

A personal journal with comic illustrations, this is truly a tonic for the trials of life we all go through. Sophie, a young BBC director, comes down with chronic fatigue syndrome and is cast upon her family and friends for a year. ‘Funnily Enough’ makes compelling and very amusing reading while also taking a serious look at the guilt and shame, the utter frustration and desperation, the perseverence and development of character as Sophie eventually comes through with a renewed hope and energy in the light of God’s grace.

Whether you could do with a review of your own auto immune function or have a friend or family member who suffered from ME, this book promises to be enjoyable reading. You will meet many colourful characters in Sophie’s journey with telling family relationships, medical help and alternative therapies, eccentric relatives and heart-warming friendships.

Some of it is mind-blowing, the worst being a hospital stay and finding a tramp sleeping on the back seat of her car; the best being the habits of her mother’s tame otters. The book is written in a light and sketchy style (like the delightful watercolour illustrations) and thoroughly referenced with an impressive bibliography.

by Wendy Chandler, South Africa

Julia Fenn's letter to Sophie Neville about 'Funnily Enough'

Fun, adventure, tribulations and triumphs ~

Sophie’s book “Funnily Enough” is so aptly titled. It is a courageous tale of illness overcome, trials met, and lots of courage displayed. All the time told with humor accompanied by delightful wispy watercolor sketches. This little book is truly a tonic, and the reader will be uplifted and sent back into the world ready for new adventures.

I knew Sophie when she was 12 years old, when I produced the feature film “Swallow and Amazon’s,” and she played Titty so delightfully. Now we’ve all grown up, and she’s clearly grown into a fascinating, humorous, witty and wise person. Her insights into family, work in a giddy TV world, just life . . . and getting through the day, are an inspirational delight. Thank you.  Richard Pilbrow  Ridgefield, CT, USA


‘Funnily Enough’ is an honestly written and humorous account of the mental, physical and spiritual struggles encountered by Sophie Neville during the time that she was fighting CFS. Anyone who has experienced at first or second hand the difficulties which those who suffer from CFS must face, will find this both lively and thought-provoking, yet with some really meaty questions and issues at its centre.

Sophie does not apologise for who she is or where she has come from – it is delightfully refreshing that she tells things exactly as she finds them, and her open direct relationship with God and her exploration of the Christian faith is at the very centre of all she does, providing enormous encouragement and opportunity for reflection.

The book develops in style and moves from a fairly easy read to a much more analytical and serious text, which is full of great insight into the nature of God and faith, the big questions surrounding why people suffer, to the positive and uplifiting ending, which is all interspersed with wonderful whacky humour and tales of the Neville family, and Sophie’s friends and all their combined eccentricities.  Katy Bagnall

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