John Scully spent his life as an academic metallurgist, specialising in corrosion. He took early retirement and since that time he has devoted himself to writing memoirs and novels, an activity that he had longed to pursue all his life. His novels derive very much from his own experiences: growing up in London and teaching applied science at a Provincial University, eventually facing retirement and old age, all of which are recalled and subject to a variety of comments. There are always remarks about politics too. The results are novels with rich texts, carefully written in very readable prose.
Change and Changeability
by John Scully
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-84944-009-7
Paperback RRP: £12.49
UKBookland Price : £8.99 including FREE Standard UK Delivery - available here.
Mobipocket eBook available here for 6 Euros.
Mobipocket eBook ISBN: 978-1-84944-029-5
As Jack Russell, a newly-retired academic Ceramist, attempts to write a novel he learns that his younger sister, Susan, is separating from her husband, Martin, and setting up house with a young painter, Mary. This change greatly surprises him and his wife Jill. They subsequently meet Mary whom they find quite charming. Martin seeks their sympathy.
The two themes of writing a novel and dealing with a family problem dominate Jack’s life as he and Jill go about their normal life, meeting friends and visiting relatives. Progress with his book is slow. He finds himself continually distracted when he tries to write, unable to avoid thinking instead about various writers, about when he was young, and about the consequences of ageing.
Martin is arrested for sexually assaulting young children. He later commits suicide before his trial. In considering this tragic sequence of events Jack sees his failure to understand the breakup of Susan and Martin as typical of much in life: one never knows the full story of anything. There are always gaps. Things are never constant: situations and people’s attitudes are forever changing. That is also true of novels. Such reflections result in his feeling optimistic about finishing his novel.
Change and Changeability presents a very sympathetic portrait of a warm, modern, ageing man, engagingly uncertain about many things.