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A wonderful and powerful tribute.
Edited by Robert Fear, (Fred's Diary 1981), these are his father's memoirs which Robert is finally publishing for him. The book has a great intro, so much is said in just a few words. The author has put lots of feeling into it too. A quality presentation. Excellent cover, excellent photos, chapter titles and accuracy. Lovely evocative writing.
There were brilliant descriptions of his childhood home which really captured the atmosphere. I love reading what life was like in years gone by. I remembered lots of the sweets mentioned in the book. Many things were making me smile as I read, lots of things were familiar-springing to mind memories of my grandparents' gardens and the things they homemade which now one just goes to the shops for-convenient-but lost memories. This was a brilliant book, a wonderful collection of memories. It was just so interesting with lots of fascinating info and so well written. Compelling to read, concise, it flowed so easily. Robert Fear's father was a child in wartime Britain. This is not just about the Brethren-it's Robert's father's account of his whole life and is enormously interesting.
Well, thank heaven that Robert Fear decided to publish his father's gem of a book! This is not to be missed-I simply couldn't put it down! John Fear certainly had an entertaining command of the English language and tells a wonderful tale of his life. So much nostalgia about school, war, and rationing, washing etc-all the things we take for granted nowadays. I absolutely flew through this-it was such a good read! It was interesting as he did radio broadcasts for Africa, India, and The Seychelles etc. There is great variety from cosy family memories to horrific scenes in a coup. A variety of techniques are used to portray this memoir-diary entries, a telegram, and letters. I like the travel aspect to this memoir too-I wasn't expecting it. A fantastic book. A wonderful and powerful tribute.
I do not personally know the author but through a third party, I was most fortunate to be given the opportunity to beta-read the memoir, "Exclusive Pedigree" by John L Fear. Having experienced my own staunch Christian upbringing but in a more liberal faith, I was curious to understand more about the Exclusive Brethren faith. One of my primary school friends belonged to the same faith, but ours wasn't a typical childhood friendship. The author's writing assisted me all these years later, to understand why those limitations existed and the impact they had on our friendship, a friendship that was never destined to continue beyond our primary school.
How fortunate that John Fear decided to write the story of his life as a member of the Exclusive Brethren faith and his life beyond the faith, but still serving the God whom he loved. There was no trace of on-going bitterness towards the sect when the adult author and his young family left the faith although it meant that relationships with extended family were severed. One of the fascinating aspects of the book was John's descriptions of life as a child, placing everything in its appropriate historical perspective. What struck a strong chord with me also, was John's many and long absences from his home and family, as he served his Christian faith, through various forms of Christian media, generally in countries away from where his family lived in Great Britain. One can only imagine the stresses this must have placed not only on John but especially on his wife and children.
This is a fascinating story and it is to Robert Fear's credit, that he took on the task of editing his father's memoir. John Fear originally wrote of his memories because he wanted his children, grandchildren, and their children, to have knowledge of their family history. How much wealthier would be the education of our children, grandchildren and succeeding generations if we all followed John Fear's idea of writing our family history in one form or another, for our descendants to read and understand from whom and whence they descend.
I have no hesitation in highly recommending this book as one that will enthrall you for any number of reasons. Whatever your interest, history, family relationships, the Christian faith, or media, you will not be disappointed in reading this memoir.