Jeeve Stories

Some Readers’ Comments:

Aphrodite's Picnic

A book’s title is very important; an interesting and intriguing title invites one to read the book. This one grabbed me. I’m writing this part of the review before I actually read the book, so that I can compare my own pre-reading thoughts, with the content. Aphrodite is an ancient Greek name for a very, very old and very, very powerful Goddess, Ishtar. She was the Goddess of war, sexual love and fertility, and not a lady to trifle with: she took many lovers, all of whom she treated badly, or killed: she went into the land of death to bring back a lover, Tammuz, and returned alive - a brave woman, although known for her fickle temper: her symbol was the lion, not, you will note, the lioness. An invitation to her picnic is not one to turn down lightly. The authors of this book are all women, as is the reviewer, so, will this book be about the power of women?

The first thing to say is that I was not disappointed. The theme of the Greek gods binds the stories and the authors together into a satisfying whole.

Pan, a god of wild places, sensual music and sexual pleasure (famous for his large phallus) introduces stories about brief encounters, women who enjoy sex for pleasure, almost as a healing process. In Arcadian Dream, Eileen returns to the theme of the Captain as Pan. The last story ends in a dark way, with a hint of male betrayal to come, leading us on with anticipation.

Athena is a virgin goddess, representing wisdom and purity. Her stories are about the power of love and friendship: in Vera’s tender tale, Farewell Lilibet, the love of a dying father for his wife and their daughters.

Nemesis is the goddess of justice of divine retribution, from whom there is no escape. Male violence and exploitation against women, both physical and emotional is explored, and the last story, has a very satisfying, if not exactly politically correct revenge ending.

Aphrodite, unsurprisingly, leads us to stories of sexual passion and beauty, and love including maternal love, good and bad. Indeed the goddess makes an appearance, disguised as Nemi, in Elaine’s story, Food for Thought. I particularly enjoyed Uphill All the Way, by Eve, which deals with mothers, sisters, duty and love.

Hermes, messenger of the gods, is also the god of transitions and boundaries. In this section the casualties of war emerge: in Julie’s story a soldier in Afghanistan hears that his wife has lost their baby, and, in Vera’s touching tale, a spy injured in France during the second world war is rescued by a resistance fighter.

Each section is introduced by our intrepid quintet, as they travel around the Greek Islands, escorted by the Pan like Captain, and eventually taking revenge on the conman RSB.

Now that I have read the book, I can confirm that it is worthy of Ishtar. War, death, love, sex, loss, passion, betrayal and revenge - it’s a powerful mix. Never underestimate the power of women! 

Merryl Roberts

The Virgin Sardine

By Eileen Dickson, Elaine Douglas, Vera Morris, Julie Roberts and Eve Wibberley (Jennifer Smith)

Illustrated by Sue Tait

I enjoyed the book tremendously; what talented writers! I have read short stories before but never found them very interesting as they did not seem to have much substance to them but these were excellent.

Jeanne (Newcastle upon Tyne)

I loved your books very much. Haven't had such a good read for a long time!

Betty (Hampstead Norreys)

Fish Pie and Laughter

By Eileen Dickson, Elaine Douglas, Vera Morris, Julie Roberts and Eve Wibberley (Jennifer Smith)

Illustrated by Sue Tait

From the beginning to the end I found this an interesting and thought provoking read.

Each writer has her own distinct voice and unique style. Halfway through the book it is not difficult to guess who has written the short piece of reminiscence or short story before reaching the author’s signature.

The illustrations by Sue Tait cleverly sum up, in simple sketch, each mood evoked and brings a smile.

Freda Grieve (Author)

I received Fish Pie and Laughter as a Birthday Gift and read it in one go. Now I am taking my time to slowly enjoy it chapter by chapter. A wonderful book by five wonderful writers – you never know where the next chapter will take you in time or place or mood.

Faith McAmis (USA)

Congratulations on the publication of Fish Pie and Laugher: a gentle yet intriguing jog through the life experience of some very talented, determined and special ladies. Looking forward to your second book: all power to your elbows!

Ros Pritchard OBE

I should have written before this to congratulate you on your publication. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Fish Pie and Laugher and am full of admiration for your enterprise. The way you have arranged it is very clever as is the title. The variety within the book certainly adds to its interest. I hope Fish Pie and Laughter has sold well. Let me know when your next publication comes out!

Jean Trotman

The Guilty Suitcase

By Eileen Dickson, Elaine Douglas, Vera Morris, Julie Roberts and Eve Wibberley (Jennifer Smith)

Illustrated by Sue Tait

I'd like to congratulate you all once more on the success of your latest book. I came to the launch where I enjoyed meeting with those of you there again, and having finished the book - I found it even more enjoyable than the first one. Easy bedtime stories. Well done - you're a great bunch and good fun - keep it up! Thanks again and I look forward to your next one!!

 Judith MacBeth

 I enjoyed the book tremendously; what talented writers. I have read short stories before but never found them very interesting as they did not seem to have much substance to them, but these were excellent.