The Traveller’s Guide to Love | By Helen Nicholl
The best of all travelling companions – at any age – is love.
Published: 19 June 2015
‘What can I say about Albert? He was very tall and thin and as bald as an egg. It was what I first noticed about him: a gleaming skull bobbing along between the bookshelves. Closer inspection revealed an interesting line in layers of well-worn tweed and corduroy, and very old and expensive looking shoes. From this I deduced, quite rightly, that the object of my inspection rarely, if ever, bought anything new. From a distance he wasn’t promising, but then he turned and looked me full in the face. My friend Rita – a great authority on men – once stopped me halfway through mylist of some new prospect’s sterling qualities. ‘Yes, that’s all very well,’ she said, before cutting straight to the chase a always, ‘but does he make your knees knock?’
Albert turned out to have as mesmerizing a pair of eyes as I have ever encountered, and they could have heard my knees knocking in Ballymena.’
When Johanna van Heerdin comes across The Traveller’s Guide to Ancient County Down in a second-hand bookshop, she doesn’t realize that the attractive but indecisive Albert is part of the package too. Before long, the two are a couple, criss-crossing the county and falling in love as they negotiate the dolmens and cairns of Strangford and Downpatrick. Then, real life intrudes, in the shape of Albert’s jealous estranged wife Carmel, his daughter’s wedding, Johanna’s grown-up children and her skeptical friend Rita who is far from convinced that Albert is as dependable as he seems. Can our seasoned travellers really juggle the accumulated baggage of marriage, friends and families and still make their relationship work?
A funny, tender and warm story about finding love again – perfect for fans of Thursdays in the Park.
HELEN NICHOLL was born and brought up in South Africa. She came to London in 1970 and lived and worked in England and Northern Ireland before moving with her family to Zimbabwe for eighteen years. In 2000 she returned to Belfast where she managed a charity bookshop until she retired in 2015. Happily settled in Holywood, she and her partner keep open house for their extended family and friends, but still travel at every opportunity.
For further information, to request an interview with Helen Nicholl and/or to request a review copy of The Traveller’s Guide to Love please contact:
Jim Meredith, Blackstaff Press, 4D Weavers Court, Linfield Road, Belfast, BT12 5GH
Telephone: 02890 347510