Reviews for A Single Step

Joan from Tennessee, USA

This is the final book 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 and concerns facing the people he encounters. He and Alice, his wife and 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 and 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 and 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!!

Eric Little – Ontario, writes:

The best thing about “A Single Step” is the author’s determination to give an accurate account of the locale of his story. This is the last volume of Terry Oliver’s “third age” trilogy, novels that follow the exploits of Barney Roper who is exploring this third stage of his life.  Two previous books recounted Barney’s search for fulfillment, first in Vancouver and London, then in a second volume, an attempt to explore the teachings of Buddha while trekking through China and Tibet. Both books drew on the author’s extensive travels.

This time out Barney, in his early 70’s and living a comfortable life in the London area, determines to travel through West Africa to locate his youngest daughter who has been caught up in the aftermath of the conflict that devastated the region in the 1990s.   As in his two earlier books Oliver has crafted this story carefully after having travelled extensively through the area in order to document the conditions he inserts into his story.  The special difficulties of travelling through a war ravaged Sierra Leone are detailed as he continues his search.  His characters are all well drawn and add immeasurably to the enjoyment of the book. The result is a story that I found to be both thought provoking and authentic in its detail.

Highly recommended for all readers, but especially for those whose passion is armchair travel.

Mary Pitchford – Ontario, writes:

I have enjoyed all three novels in Terry Oliver’s 3rd age trilogy.  This third installment, A Single Step, was especially interesting.  He deftly weaves the life of his main character, Barney Roper, into the lives of his other characters in Southern England. He then involves us in the search for his daughter who had become involved with an orphanage in the war torn areas of Guinea and Sierra Leone. The description of the inhabitants and events of West Africa were fascinating.  He recounts the difficulties faced by the local people after the civil war as well as the huge problems in travelling through those war-torn areas.

Mr. Oliver’s special skill is in the careful development of his characters. He brings them to life and gives them reality and warmth.

Guy Marsden – Vancouver, writes:

I’ve just finished “A Single Step” & thoroughly enjoyed it so am sending you my review.

A Single Step manages after many intriguing twists & turns to bring to a satisfactory end Barney Roper’s quest for his holy grail- how should a man live. Not an easy quest & for Barney a road with many potholes both literal & figurative. Still,things seem to fall into place in a haphazard way for our protagonist, & his family is brought together amidst the chaotic setting of a war torn west African country & in spite of the emotional roller coaster of his familys’ individual lives. Some might call it a happy ending but there are few too many ghosts still left in the closet I think.
A real page turner part 3 as were parts 1 & 2 of this trilogy. I was left hoping  we might hear more from T.Oliver, perhaps he’ll give us his own sense of an ending a final 4th stage in this vale of tears.”

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