I used to smuggle roadkill into the house despite my mother's preference for flowers.
Jane Wilson-Howarth mother, GP, author and zoologist, is an authority on travel health. She has lived in the East for long enough to be able to say diarrhoea in nine Asian languages. So far A NOVEL AND five of her NON-FICTION books have been published as well as innumerable articles.
A Glimpse of Eternal Snows
How to Shit Around the World
The Essential Guide to Travel Health
Lemurs of the Lost World
Your Child Abroad: a travel health guide
Polish bison - I've dreamed of seeing European bison in th...
Friday 01 Jul 2016
In Poland last week - Some thoughts on a visit to an inspiring countr...
Tuesday 28 Jun 2016
Girls Travelling Alone - An interview with the woman behind an anthology...
Thursday 02 Jun 2016
Shelford Library talk - Jane is talking about her writing again in...
Tuesday 19 Jul 2016
Saving money - My Rip-off clip is up on the web again
Thursday 23 Jun 2016
Girls travelling alone - New website
Thursday 02 Jun 2016
Featured in the Bookseller alternative review of the year (Dec 2000) as the June highlight.
Towering snow-covered Himalayan peaks on the cover attracted my interest initially, however after a couple of chapters I was struggling to get into this book, its content focused on pregnancy, rigours of childbirth and a handicapped newborn.
Not really my idea of a mountain adventure. The book features the Wilson-Howarth family. Jane, mother and trained paediatrician, is the author. Husband Simon works on infrastructure projects for a world aid agency. Their children are Alexander, an active pre-schooler, and newborn David, who with cleft palate and severe yet undiagnosed neurological problems, promises to turn their world upside down.
The author struggles as intuition and professional knowledge forces her to face David's degree of impairment and uncertain future. Medical colleagues add to the worries, viewing her newborn as "an interesting case", but not talking openly or honestly about his prognosis. Chapter two passes by and I am really not attached to this story, too many hospital scenes and worrisome kids.
The family then faces a choice. Stay and endure the best and worst of interventions modern medicine and surgery provide, or escape to a simple life in Nepal where another infrastructure project beckons, and enjoy the limited time they may have with their impaired son and brother.
In Nepal things are looking better. We are out of the hospital ward, and the children become just part of the story as they struggle to cope in a hot and very different environment. The author leads her family in small adventures as they sample a culture steeped in superstition, prejudice, poverty and cultural divides.
By chapter 10 I am really enjoying this book, there are no epic events - as is often the case with living in foreign cultures, it is the small things that make the interesting tales.
The real epic, however, is played out in David's slow physical and mental progress and the couple's tortured self doubt over their non-intervention strategy to hopefully provide him with a better quality of life.
The conclusion is in some ways surprising, beautifully expressed. It tells of how a family held true to a belief that quality of life mattered most, and how their Nepal experiences equipped them well to maintain that belief.
In postscript notes, the author says the script started as a travel narrative but developed into a story incorporating David's birth and struggles. She has blended his story into the travel narrative beautifully.
— NB this bloke reviewer thought this one gets better as it goes along —
What an amazing read this was. I was sorry to come to the end but hoping Jane will write the next part of her story very soon.
The book is beautifully produced and presented, and wonderfully written, leading the reader on through the story that grips at every turn with artistic descriptive work and tantalising insights into life far from home. Jane is able to paint pictures of people and wildlife so well with her words.
The story centres on her family, husband Simon and their two children, Alexander and David. David was born with medical problems and disabilities. Jane's description of the emotions this evoked within the family from even before the doctors' diagnoses are a must read for the medical profession and anyone with friends or family living with a child with significant medical problems.