Another Day in Paradise by Karen Telling 

by | Jul 14, 2023 | Author | 0 comments

My books are about our move to Portugal from the UK in 2003, and our lives here over the last 20 years, including my major spinal surgery in 2009.

Initially, I wrote an account of the events surrounding the operation, mainly for me, to remind me what happened, and also to pay tribute to several people who made my life so much easier at a very difficult time.  The true kindness of strangers.

I found this piece of writing during lockdown and decided to see if I could elaborate on it, and before I knew it I had written a book.  It’s not a ‘misery memoir’, it’s mostly lighthearted as there have been many quite amusing happenings.  

I finished the book at a point where we had been living in Portugal for a year, and after two 6-month rentals, we finally moved into our own home.

That was all that I planned to write, and felt it finished the book off nicely.  Once it was published I was surprised to receive lots of comments and reviews saying ‘it ended too soon, I want to know more.’  So I carried on writing, brought our story up to date, and published the sequel.

I think my audience is quite wide. It could be anyone who has thought about moving abroad, has already done it or is just curious about the process.  We have rescued lots of cats and dogs over the years, so any animal lover would enjoy it too.  Then there are people with my condition, scoliosis, who are facing surgery or can empathise with my experiences and I know that having major medical treatment in a foreign country can be a scary prospect.  I hope that my books will show that it’s possible to have a positive experience.

I hope readers enjoy the books. I know you can’t please everyone, but I have had some amazing feedback and almost two years since the first book was published, sales are still going strong. I am just about to hit 1 million page reads on Kindle Unlimited, which is really exciting.

Although my surgery was a success, as my surgeon told me, ‘I am operating to stabilise your spine, not to remove the pain.’, I am now disabled.  I cannot sit comfortably, or walk far, or even stand still.  I spend most of my time flat on my back, so I wrote both books on my phone, with my thumbs.  If you are determined enough, you can overcome most obstacles.

A warm-hearted, autobiographical story about the location and lifestyle in a small village in the Algarve, as seen through the eyes of Karen, and her husband Nick, who made the move seeking a quieter, more serene way of life. What lurks in the shadows of paradise, however, is a life-changing illness she has struggled with in the past and now comes to the fore.

They have made Portugal their home. Will they be able to navigate the health system and succeed in getting her the urgent operation needed, to prevent her from spending the rest of her life in a wheelchair? This adds tension to an otherwise gentle, amusing, highly descriptive story, filled with wonderful observations, funny clashes of culture and an entertaining learning curve for all concerned. The dialogue is so authentic, you can hear their voices. The characters are real and 3-dimensional and the supporting cast of cats and dogs at times threaten to steal the show. This is a fulfilling and satisfying read, uplifting, positive and makes you long for a sequel.

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