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About Jennifer Barraclough
After publishing several medical books, I have returned to my childhood passion for writing fiction. Originally from England, I qualified as a doctor from the University of Oxford in 1970, and spent 30 years working in clinical and research posts. From 1991-2000 I was consultant in psychological medicine, with special interests in oncology and palliative care, at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford. After my husband and I moved to New Zealand in 2000 I decided not to resume an orthodox medical career but, having done some training in natural therapies, practised as a Bach flower practitioner and life coach for ten years. I also developed interests in choral singing and animal welfare. My novels reflect these interests as well as my medical background. The latest one "You Yet Shall Die", set in southern England, is a story about family relationships and the uncovering of a long-ago crime.
There is a stranger among the mourners at his funeral, a young woman in a yellow coat. Afterwards, she visits Dr Harper’s adult daughter Hilda and his adult son Dunstan, introducing herself as their half-sister Nicky.
Hilda, who hated her father, is a recluse who lives in a marshland cottage with her rescue cats. Disturbed but intrigued by Nicky’s visit, she sets out to investigate her family background. Did her father, respected in his profession but a tyrant at home, lead a double life? Why did her mother, a semi-invalid who sought comfort in religion, die so young?
Meanwhile her brother Dunstan, already on the verge of a breakdown and appalled by Nicky’s claim to be the “love child” of the father whom he worshipped, attempts to protect his family’s reputation through desperate measures with disastrous results.
The story, set in rural Kent and Sussex in 2005 with flashbacks to postwar Oxford and the 1960s London nightclub scene, ends with the discovery of a long-ago crime and a shocking twist.
Anxiety, fear, worry, sadness, depression, anger and loss of hope are common responses to any serious or chronic disease. Symptoms of the condition itself, side-effects of treatment, concerns about diagnosis and prognosis, unwanted changes in activity and relationships take their toll on both body and mind. Ideally, negative feelings will soon be replaced by a more positive adjustment, but sometimes they are severe or prolonged.
Bach flowers are not a cure for physical disease but work to relieve the emotional distress often associated with it. Dr Edward Bach described them as having “beautiful vibrations” capable of promoting positive mental states such as hope, courage and calm. This short practical guide explains how to select and use the remedies as part of a holistic approach to healing. Despite all its unpleasant aspects, the experience of illness can have "silver linings" and the flower remedies can help to bring them out.
Dr Jennifer Barraclough is a former consultant in psychological medicine with many years' experience of working with patients and their families especially in cancer care settings. She is also a qualified Bach flower practitioner, life coach, and author of fiction and nonfiction books.
Reader's comments include:
'I was gripped from the start and had to know what would happen'
'Jennifer draws believably on her medical background and in this story weaves a very tangled web indeed'
'A well written book of considerable charm and clarity'
'A remarkable feat by an author who writes in limpid prose which is rare to read'
'Enjoyed picture of New Zealand with its beautiful landscape'
'Interwoven tale of love, mystery and more than a touch of the paranormal'
'Can I help my own recovery by improving my diet, taking more exercise, meditating, having a positive attitude, and reducing my stress levels?' 'Can I use therapies like acupuncture, homoeopathy and herbal medicines as well as drugs and surgery, or even instead of them?' 'Where can I find good information about approaches like these?' 'And why did I get this illness – does it have some meaning and purpose in my life?'
Such questions are of vital importance to many of those who are coping with health problems in themselves or in their families, and who want to play an active part in controlling the symptoms and improving the medical prognosis. But many doctors, nurses and other clinicians with an orthodox background feel uncomfortable with them, being unable or unwilling to provide their patients with helpful guidance about ‘natural healing’ and ‘the holistic approach’, and sometimes responding in negative ways when they hear these terms.
Both mainstream treatments and natural therapies can form part of a holistic programme, and it is seldom helpful to regard orthodox and alternative treatments as polar opposites. But the integrative model which combines the best of both is only practised by a few experts in a few centres, so people on the illness ‘journey’ who choose to depart from the main highway of orthodox treatment sometimes find themselves on a rather lonely path without clear maps or easy access to support services.
This book offers practical guidance about what patients can do to help themselves, what pitfalls to look out for, and how clinicians can provide support. It includes brief reviews of underlying theory, with selected references to other books, websites and the academic literature. It also includes original case histories written by contributors with personal experience of the approaches described.
“Very clear and balanced, not dismissing conventional medicine but allowing and supporting alternatives.”
“It’s a joy to read, it’s WHOLE and informative, warm, lovely, precise, elegant and gentle and full of tremendous stories. I loved every single word. Pure gold.”
“A wonderfully refreshing look at humankind and how the disease process affects us all ... a most worthwhile read.”