Joan pens childhood tale of wartime

Author Joan Parker with her new book, A Green Hill Far Away.
Author Joan Parker with her new book, A Green Hill Far Away.

A Sutton woman has told her extraordinary tale about the challenges of growing up blind in war time Ashfield.

Joan Parker said it has been a dream come true to get her book published after years in the making.

Now 70, Joan was born blind and can only see light and shade and some colours.

But she said her lack of sight is more than compensated by her ability to remember minute details from as far back as an infant.

A Green Hill Far Away is about growing up and looking back in nostalgia at a time where Joan says ‘life was much simpler’.

The book is the first part of a two-book series and Joan is currently writing the second.

It was published by independent publishers Gingernut Books Ltd based in Sutton.

Joan said: “It has been a dream come true to publish my book, I have had to do it all myself as no one would sponsor me but I want to thank everyone who finds themselves in my book.

“For being there at just the right time, when needed the most, those who would say they needed no thanks, good people like the ones who stretched out their hands to stop my pram from speeding down the shopping street, like the boy who stayed near me by the water’s edge. Thank you everyone who treated me as an ordinary child.”

Joan settled on the title after her mother used to sing the choral song to her as a child. Her book is now available to buy from Gingernut Books Ltd and Blackwells and Joan will be doing a book signing at Sutton Library on 1st February.

The book is published under Joan’s maiden name of Vardy because she said it is synonymous with the area: “Vardy has strong links with the Huthwaite area as anyone in the area can tell you. The book focuses on my past life and early years so I thought it was important for it to be published under my past name.”