Reviews









'Funnily Enough' by Sophie Neville
The original diary ~ Funnily Enough by Sophie Neville

WHEN Sophie Neville was in her early 30s, she was struck down by a mystery virus that caused her to collapse, rather dramatically, at work. At the time, she was employed by the BBC, and was living life in the fast lane. Signed off by her doctor, she took herself back to the family home in the Cotswolds for a couple of weeks to recover — A book review in the Church Times by Sarah Meyrick 

"I am LOVING this book! A great read!!!! Funny as promised, interesting and encouraging. Well written and I love the illustrations. Very enjoyable. " Jenny Nash, Zimbabwe

A very different book, which tells of the author’s battle with ME, now better known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Post Viral Fatigue [Syndrome].
In the midst of her exciting and varied life, which included being a child star, an adult career in TV production, travelling around Africa and anything else she could cram into her days, Sophie became ill. At first the cause was a mystery, possibly the result of exhaustion, which she and those around her expected to be fairly minor and short lived, but as time passed and she didn’t improve, a diagnosis was formed and her doctor suggested it might help her recovery if she kept a diary. Writing it, together with various therapies, painting (the book has some delightful little illustrations), the support of her family and friends all helped with her eventual recovery and, together with an increasingly strong faith, led to a refocussing of her life and ambitions. A book review by Sallie Eden 

"I've just finished your book. I do congratulate you on a quite splendid achievement. The whole read is such fun, so joyful, so funny and so touching. I found it very lovable… I was quite enraptured by your lovely piece of work. Well done indeed." Richard Pilbrow, CEO Theatre Projects, Connecticut USA

"Your writing is so delightfully open and funny and full of fun. It's a breath of fresh air while also giving courage and perspective to others who struggle with long hard trials."  Wendy Chandler, Johannesburg

"Hilarious." Nick Lombard-Scott, London

"I am completely loving 'Funnily Enough' in fact I have nearly finished it and cannot wait for the next book. I will take my copy to the Seychelles. I relate so much to everything you are writing about and it really is amazing - such insights into life. Well done. It is just my kind of book." Sarah Collins, Durban, South Africa

'A unique and cherishable book' Julia Jones, Suffolk, UK

'I can seriously recommend it.' Sarah Collins, Durban, South Africa

'I've never read a book twice - but I just had to read this book twice. It made me laugh - laugh until my stomach hurt.' Dr Bill Frankland, Harley Street: the allergist who first encountered ME at St Mary's Hospital and The Royal Free in 1940

'...The aquarell you have as cover picture is beautiful and makes an otter soul get very happy!' Louloute, Paris


Recent comments from readers ~ on Funnily Enough
  • I thoroughly enjoyed Sophie Neville’s account of her time struggling with Chronic Fatigue.  The pictures both physical and mental of her family and friends bring them to life - in fact larger than life. I have gone on to read “Ride The Wings of Morning” (The next stage of Sophie’s life “set” in Africa) and am reading it slowly, as I enjoy it so much I don’t want it to end. My teenage daughter has also enjoyed both books, showing that Sophie’s writing appeals to all ages. Chris Holmes, UK 
  • A relative was trying to cope with M.E., and, having seen this reviewed in our local newspaper, I sent him a copy. He said it was such a joy to read - amusing and, at the same time, reassuring & helpful. Would recommend this to anyone having to cope with a similar situation. 5 out of 5 stars Wonderful! ~ Patricia Olsen
  • I really would recommend Sophie Neville's book to anyone living with a chronic condition, or with those suffering from one, or anyone at all. I read it 2 years ago and laughed and laughed while having my Infliximab treatment for Behcet's. I know that Coleen Dulledge enjoyed it during Rituximab too and Ali Marston read it too (I think). Sophie has kindle made it free until midnight (PST) on 28th January. This is a great read. Zoe Behcet's,  Cambridge
  • Sophie Neville ~ your book is hysterical!  Love the diary so far.  Don't know how it ends, obviously, but hope you are doing better.  Myalgic Encephalomyelitis isn't for the faint of heart, is it? Jan Masleid
  • 'I read this last year and thoroughly enjoyed it - I thought it delivered everything it promised on the cover. Great illustrations too (although my early version Kindle probably doesn't do them justice!).' Kevin Burn, Cumbria
  • I've just downloaded the 2nd book to keep me going in the post-chemo recovery phase for my autoimmune vasculitis. Zoe, Christchurch, Cambridge
  • Sophie, I just finished reading your book, "Funnily Enough", having read it non-stop, which I haven't done with a book for decades. Having had a similar experience, I could identify so totally with the Spiritual struggle, although I've quite forgotten about the physical pain I experienced. Life is good. Cynthia Elnora Ashby, USA
  •  Fantastically funny but with a serious side in Sophie's recovery from ME.  Very uplifting and so pleased to find her finding light at the end of the tunnel in her recovery and more importantly leading to the sequel....!!  Lovely illustrations too! Julie Cullimore -   5*
  • A brilliant and often funny insight into the author's struggle with ME ~ I am a great fan of Swallows and Amazons. I hooked into the links and found the touching and witty Funnily Enough. I wanted to read this book because of its honest insights, based on faith,trust and determination. The author's anecdotal day-to-day dealings with life in general and ME in particular are addressed with humour. Sophie's story mirrors the battle a friend of mine has with ME. I lent this book to my friend. Her feedback was that Funnily Enough made her laugh and has given her a degree of solace and reassurance. She has also passed on the links to another friend with ME. 5* by Cherry
  • I have read "Funnily Enough" with much enjoyment. It is clear that you have travelled quite a journey through some very dark valleys before emerging into the sunlight again. As was said of John Keats, you have a 'strong sense of what really exists and  occurs'. I also came away with an amplified understanding and fascination of your family ~ great!  I now  look forward with keen anticipation to reading "Ride the Wings of Morning".  Christopher Davies, Dedham
Julia Fenn's letter to Sophie Neville about 'Funnily Enough'

More comments about Funnily Enough ~

I just finished Funnily Enough the other day and wow what a fantastic read! Thank you very much for some very enjoyable hours of reading! It made me smile (quite the cast of characters!)...i laughed out loud more than a few times. I loved the humour & the drawings! Wish I had half your talent! Hope you're much much better these days though? I've yet to order Ride the Wings of Morning but will be doing so very soon!  David Canuck, British Columbia, Canada

A very personal account of a year long fight to overcome the physical and mental debilitation of ME,  lightened by the amusingly told anecdotes of enduring this suffering amidst the goings on of an extended and somewhat eccentric family. Sophie seems to have tried conventional medicine, psychiatry, acupuncture, aromatherapy, faith healing and not least, demanding of the Creator that he answers the question, 'Why me?' Perhaps a little of each helped in what was for Sophie a life changing experience, with a happy ending. It is an absorbing tale nicely told JPG, Lymington 

5.0 out of 5 stars Sarah Howell, 10 Jun 2012   Funnily Enough (Kindle Edition)
Fabulous observations of everyday life! This is a testament to true faith. Funnily Enough should be read by M.E. suffers as well as those lucky enough not to have had the condition. An inspiration!

12th June ~ '...it was compulsive reading - very 'thought-provoking and funny'. I laughed out loud many times ...As I was nearing the end of your book I was longing for you to go to Africa as I knew the climate would cure you. And you did.' Jenny Black, a member of a Book Group in Oakridge Lynch. 

7th June ~ I have at last read your books on a friend’s Kindle…What can I say but perfect and inspiring. I found the illustrations really true to life. Chris Maloney MBE, Devon

5th June ~ I just had to tell you. I’ve got a e-book reader on my new phone and I’ve been reading “Funnily Enough”. It’s so delightful, I can’t put it down...and then when I giggle over something, I have to paraphrase what happened to my husband. Thank you for sharing your story in such a light hearted, gorgeous way. J (I still can’t believe people can own pet otters. That’s so cool!) Skye Weyland, Queensland, Australia

20th May ~ 'At last, I have finished 'Funnily Enough'. This is to congratulate you and say how very much I enjoyed it. It was almost as if you were in the room whilst I was reading it. It was all so natural and unaffected, as well as being inspiring. I think that we all have lessons to learn from what you went through, not least to let go and let God. I also much appreciated all the humour about your family, friends and animals, particularly the otters! Did I hear that you have published another book since?' Chris Knox, Historian, UK

"I have only got to page 49 of Funnily Enough but already I feel as though I know you, such is the quality of your writing, as a friend and a member of my own family." Peter Latham, UK

 A smashing, touching, moving and very funny book with a wicked sense of humor, fun and insight ~ Richard Pilbrow, USA, on Goodreads


small figure at the washing line

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