Book Reviews - September 2017

Book Reviews – September 2017

by Grace Downie

Two books to certainly get you thinking; Patrick Souiljaert’s journey with Cerebral Palsy, and Caroline Scott’s account of the importance of women’s work in the First World War.


by Patrick Souiljaert

When Patrick Souiljaert was born his oxygen was restricted for four minutes, which left him with a severe condition called Cerebral Palsy, a life-long condition that affected his movement and speech. Yet instead of letting this condition weigh him down, Patrick took it all in and went for what he wanted anyway.

Since Patrick couldn’t walk he crawled everywhere. Learning to climb the stairs was one of his first challenges, but learning to walk was where he stood out. When Patrick moved from Belgium to England at the age of ten he went from mainly crawling to walking, using crutches and a wheelchair for long distances.

Patrick recounts his life’s journey in joyous spirit, through good times and bad, from boarding school to university, his top music moments being as important as his school grades. His attitude shining throughout, he often says he never really thought himself disabled and hasn’t let Cerebral Palsy stop him from doing anything. He truly believes with self-belief and hard work you can achieve anything in life – and his life is the proof of it.

This is the first edition of Patrick Souiljaert’s memoirs. An inspirational and light-hearted book. Patrick simply says how he sees it; no pandering to people and definitely no excuses. (He has a photographic memory to prove it.)

Patrick is now publishing his second book, ‘Screw It, I’ll Take The Elevator’, and is inviting people to pre-order copies of it in order to cover the publishing costs. You can do so, find out more and see Patrick in video at:


by Caroline Scott

‘Holding the Home Front’ takes an in-depth look at the women’s work in the First World War. This book doesn’t romanticise, but nor is it brutal or unkind. Instead it paints a picture of what happened when war struck the heart of Britain.

Caroline Scott explains the highs and lows of the Women’s Land Army. When the war came knocking women had to pull up their stockings, as the well-known ‘dirty work’ was now the only work that mattered.

Our civilised culture had become proud to have fewer women working in the fields of England compared to the rest of Europe. With only eight percent of women having jobs on the farm land and our nation actively encouraging women to seek after office or factory jobs. Women were seen to be lesser workers than their male counter part, only society didn’t realise at the time how needed women would be.

Insightful and extensive, this book is filled with quips and passages from the day. Caroline sheds a new light on old times as she highlights not just the work women took to hand, but the people who made it possible, too.