Author(s): Sheila Hancock
'Well now, prove it, Sheila. As John would say, "Put your money where your mouth is." Be a depressed widow boring the arse off everyone, or get on with life. Your choice.' In The Two of Us Sheila relived her life with John Thaw - years packed with love and family, delight and despair. And then she looked ahead. What next? Gardening, grannying and grumbling, while they all had their pleasures, weren't going to fill the aching void that John had left. 'Live adventurously', a Quaker advice, was hovering around her brain. Putting her and John's much loved house in France on the market she embarked on a series of journeys. She tried holidaying alone, contending with invisibility and budget flights. She tried travelling in a group, but the questions she wanted to ask were never the ones the guide wanted to answer. She tried relaxing - harder than you might think. Finally, heading out of her comfort zone, she found her travels, and the things she discovered, led her back to her past; to consider her generation - the last to experience the Second World War - and the kind of person it made her. Just Me is a book about moving on, but it is also about looking back, and looking anew. Sheila, whether facing down burglars and Easyjet staff or making friends with waiters and taxi drivers, whether unearthing secrets in Budapest, getting arrested in Thailand, exulting in the art of Venice or searching for a decent cup of coffee in Dorset, is never less than stimulating company. Honest - because if you can't say what you think at seventy-three, when can you? - insightful and wonderfully down to earth, she is a woman seizing the future with wit, gusto and curiosity, on her own.
The Two of Us was a number one bestseller, selling over 726,000 copies (Nielsen BookScan) and was the book for which Sheila won the British Book Awards' Author of the Year Award. Sheila Hancock has a massive media profile, regularly appearing on TV and radio. Paperback publicity will be immense and supported with a national consumer campaign. For fans of Joan Didion, Virginia Ironside and Diana Athill.
'Heartbreakingly moving wise, funny and deeply touching' Daily Mail 'The thousands of people - many of them widows - will again find solace and comfort in what she has to tell them. But so will many others - those who warm to her gift for directly communicating the open-heartedness and spirit of adventure with which she confronts her life It is the stuff of bestsellers' Joan Bakewell, Guardian 'A bright, often witty account of a life moving forward. She tells her story with youthful vigour' Woman's Weekly 'Glorious' Paul O'Grady
Sheila Hancock was born in 1933 and attended RADA before embarking on a successful career in acting, both on stage and screen. She was awarded the OBE in 1974. Her previous book, The Two of Us, was a memoir of her late husband John Thaw and was a bestseller. Sheila Hancock lives in London.