Reader Reviews

Early reviews of AMPLE MAKE THIS BED, the sequel to the 3RD AGE TRILOGY will be posted right here:

Newest Review:

AMPLE MAKE THIS BED – BOOK REVIEW by Barbara S., Victoria, BC.This is a story for people who like reading about relationships, and enjoy novels that follow the classic narrative line from introduction to conflict to climax and resolution. It’s a fitting ‘Aristotelian’ shape for this tale, because Ample Make This Bed (the title coming from an Emily Dickinson poem) is about the loves and lives of a group of theatre folk.Terry Oliver’s characters are in what he calls the ‘third age’ of life, meaning the period that comes after youth and middle age have already been passed through – and been survived. What’s noticeable is that in stage three, people want the same things as they did in stages one and two: love, friendship, purpose, and outlets for creativity. It’s a book then to appeal to the active creative ‘third age baby boomer’ reader.

The protagonists, Ama and Spike and their friends, are deeply involved in the acting life. Their current project is the renovation of a decrepit theatre building, and the author offers much detail about that which will interest anyone who’s ever been involved in such a mission. Theatre-loving readers (like the present reviewer) will enjoy hearing the characters’ ideas about drama and its presentation, as well as the author’s knowledgeable asides about particular plays, playwrights and productions.

Although these protagonists are theatrical ‘players’, life itself is far from all play for them. They find time to fall in love, but their lives also include suicidal runaway offspring, disabling injuries, terminal illnesses, and doctor-assisted dying: just the sort of challenges you’d expect would appear in the ‘third age’ of life.

The story’s not gloomy however, merely recognizable. Many baby boomer readers will encounter some of their own back-stories here. Oliver’s characters are buoyant, which helps them get through the bad stuff. As far as their own biographies are concerned, you know the show will go on. Like the author, they’d agree with C.J Jung that “the afternoon of life must also have a significance of its own, and cannot be merely a pitiful appendage to life’s morning.”

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Review by Penny Pitcher, Victoria, BC

I love Community Theatre – which is why I jumped at the chance to read Terry Oliver’s Ample Make This Bed. And, as a bonus, the pivotal characters, Ama and Spike, are my age – seniors. What a treat – these seniors are actually out there living their lives to the fullest and making every day count. Now, this is not smooth sailing – both literally AND figuratively – but, with grit and determination, Spike and Ama, who reunite after forty years, steer their way through one obstacle after another. And we’re not talking mole hills here but mountains and ocean waves – from a suicidal daughter, to a broken back, to a terminal illness, to a failing memory. BUT, as they say in the theatre, ‘The show must go on.’ ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ and it took Arcadia, Nova Scotia, to raise the curtain of the Edwardian Regency Theatre. Readers are in for a turbulent ride along the way to Opening Night.
Penny Pitcher, Victoria, February 2020

admin February 26, 2020 at 11:22 am [edit]

Thanks very much Penny, for such an encouraging review. I’m pleased you enjoyed it and thanks for posting on Amazon – it means a lot to get reviews shown here. Terry

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More early reviews are starting to trickle in – here’s a couple more:

Review from Jan S., in Victoria – February 2020.

“Fast-paced and absorbing. Scenes of passion and ingenuity set in the world of community theatre are particularly interesting.

This is a welcome addition to the author’s impressive output of novels and plays. Highly recommended.”

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Another review by Wendy M., a theatre-goer in Victoria – February 2020.

“A lively tale of a group of seniors with tons of energy to pursue several goals at once. Lots of passionate love-making and backstage glimpses of life in the theatre.

Shows the importance of connecting with others via a community of shared interests.”

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Here’s an early review by a Vancouver reader.

“AMPLE MAKE THIS BED ”  author  TERRY OLIVER

BOOK REVIEW  BY GUY MARSDEN – January 2020.

“AMPLE MAKE THIS BED ” is a fascinating read. Starting out with two people Ama &  Spike, both former stage actors who knew each other “well” but went their separate ways. They meet up after a span of about forty years at a wake for  a former theatre friend in a small town in Nova Scotia.

Ama is involved as an artistic director in an old Edwardian theatre in this town, and after a rather  brief but steamy reunion Ama convinces Spike to join her again in reviving this old  Edwardian  theatre as well as igniting their former love life.

Things quickly become complicated for them as they want to live together and work together. Spike inherits an old fishing boat which needs work but they both decide it can be fixed to live aboard.

However, theatre renovations make this move awkward and Ama’s determination to make this old theatre come alive again forces Spike to give in to her wishes and join forces with her.

Amas’ critically ill daughter as well as the stage designer’s collapse, adds to the increasing stress of the theatre renovations,  and their desire to have three different productions to kick off the opening night. What seems like an impossible mission for both Ama and Spike, leads us to a rather tense but somewhat successful conclusion.

TERRY OLIVER has created a complex fast-paced page turner hard to put down once started.

 

To read what others thought of the first book in the 3rd Age Trilogy, In Hot Pursuit , click here.

To read what others thought of the second book in the 3rd Age Trilogy, Blue-Eyed Boy, click here.

Here are some first reviews of the 3rd book in the 3rd Age Trilogy, A Single Step, click here.

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SEQUEL TO THE THIRD AGE TRILOGY, ‘AMPLE MAKE THIS BED’, IS NOW COMPLETE.
January 18, 2019 at 12:14 am

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Joan McMullen September 8, 2011 at 5:48 am

I have thoroughly enjoyed Terry Oliver’s three novels.
This is the final in the trilogy as we follow Barney Roper in his quest for answers to the issues of ageing.
Being of a similar age to Barney, I could easily relate to some of the dilemmas of entering the seventh decade.
He is a genuinely nice guy, very caring, and sensitive to the troubles & concerns facing the people he encounters. He & Alice, his wife & the mother of their children, decide to divorce in this final novel.
However, the reader is left with the impression that they will continue to be very much together when their children are involved.
I liked being along for the ride to Vancouver, London, China & West Africa. It was like being on a private tour with Barney as the guide. The descriptions of West Africa were enlightening, and made me appreciate my safe & comfortable environment.
I hope there will be another novel in the future. Terry Oliver has a unique way of drawing you into the story and his characters are so likeable!

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