Reviews for In Hot Pursuit

To read what others thought of the first book in the 3rd Age Trilogy, IN HOT PURSUIT , here are some of their comments.

Eileen – UK reader writes:

“From the very start I was hooked. Barney was so positive, if not ‘euphoric’ at the start of his journey into his Third Age. Despite his recent separation from his wife, Alice, and 30 years of marriage, children and career – and the usual challenges and heartaches that come in its wake, Barney was on a quest wherever that might take him.

This is a story for the near or over sixties which refreshingly challenges the usual image of retirees – the quiet life, slippers by the fire, grandchildren to spoil, with the occasional trip to the seaside, etc. Not for Barney – this is his ‘gap year’ apart. He wants to get back to his roots in Vancouver whilst Alice wants to fulfill her dream of studying archaeology at Oxford University.

Their journeys of discovery are not without some sadness, challenges and dilemmas, but the overriding theme, especially for Barney , is his need to be an explorer. His mantra is ‘be a wanderer seeking after truth’ – the last stage of life according to the Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. The wandering takes him on a colourful journey meeting colourful people in unexpected places, such as soup kitchens in downtown Vancouver, whilst Alice explores a new relationship amongst the dreaming spires of Oxford.

At first the emphasis is on Barney and his quest, but then we turn to Alice and I wondered how the author would tackle the quest from a woman’s point of view. Well, I was not disappointed. He can read women very well, almost embarrassingly well! – how women tick and feel, especially as they approach the big six O.

Terry’s chatty style was like having a friend in your living room telling their story. It is skilfully and intelligently written – the language is straight, pulling no punches, yet insightful at the same time.

Their kids, although well and truly grown and flown, still nonetheless feature and pull at the heartstrings, despite Barney’s attempts to change the pattern, to cut free. Hunter’s story takes quite an unexpected turn, keeping me turning the pages.

So many baby boomers like me will share some of the memories that were evoked, even laugh out loud. Those last few chapters kept me guessing – will Barney and Alice come back to earth and get back together again? But I see that Terry has another book to publish so it can’t be as simple as that. This story is not the ‘final’ journey to quote Tennyson – ‘To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.’

Read the book, be inspired. It made me think of using these special years exploring in a more creative way. Thanks Terry, Tennyson, Eliot and the Buddha, no less, for your inspirations.

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Annie – Hereford, UK writes:

‘Just now finished IN HOT PURSUIT. Your book for the ‘sixty-somethings’ has
reduced me to my habit, at sixteen, of reading with an addictive slant.
Unable to let go – not showing any sign of responsibility to myself, work,
family or animals; wearing myself to a frazzle in order to know what
happens.

And even tho’, technically, I am not old enough to read this work, I guess
that now, far nearer to 60 than 16, I won’t bounce back in the morning like
I used to.

Two people, different in so many ways, and, on one side unwillingly pushed –
facing change, challenges and crises, separately and away from their
relationship of 30 years. I wondered how, as a man, you would depict the
woman’s slant on things. ‘Observation – my dear Watson.’
– ”plundered the rails together”, “lippy”,, – and many more
insights into observation of the female of our species. Clearly a man on
whom none of life’s tableaux is ever wasted.

It was Hunter who kept me rushing to the end. My heart-wrenching motherhood.
But fatherhood too, I discover. Earlier I thought Barney had abandoned his
young a bit -but no. Giving enough slack, against Alice’s advice, may have
widened a gap, with hindsight, but all part of a process for all concerned.

Beautifully written – I sat in my allotment and laughed out loud – a lot.’

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Maureen, UK, writes:

This novel is a very enjoyable  read with lots of twists and turns that kept me turning the pages. Being a ‘third-ager’ myself, I understand the longing of the main character, Barney Roper, to find meaning at this late stage of his life.

Since their grown-up children have left home and are following their own lives, the Ropers make an agreement to part for a year and pursue their dreams. Through a series of synchronistic happenings they both appear to fit into their new lives and make solid friendships immediately. The transition between 30 years of married life to singletons appears to progress seamlessly as they make the most of opportunities that come their way. The only heartache seems to come from their children who have to come to terms with this new arrangement and the loss of a familiar home-base.

I had the feeling that I was watching these adventures unfold like a movie. The narrative description of Vancouver, its background and demography is captivating. It held me spellbound. There is a real sense of viewing the unfolding dramas and varying scenes of their lives from some omnipotent presence.

There are some very funny moments when I caught myself laughing out loud like a naughty school child, caught in the act of stumbling on a private scene, but secretly delighted at the discovery.

I came to know the charismatic characters, their friends and family very well so that they seemed like old friends by the end of the novel. I was disappointed to leave the story there but hopefully not for long as the sequel is promised soon. I look forward to it with relish and will definitely buy it when I see it.

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