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By: Dr Lin Berwick (MBE)

Nobody Does It Better Than Me: The Story of Alma

Pages: 290 Ratings: 5.0
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This is a book that will hold the reader’s attention from start to finish. It’s a story of courage, determination, control, anger, jealousy, and love. Alma, the main protagonist, was injured during the Blitz in East London when half her house fell on top of the air-raid shelter also killing her father and her sister. That experience coloured the rest of her life.Alma and the family moved to Poplar (‘Call the Midwife’ country) in 1947. By 1951, they’d been re-housed to a Council House in Grundy Street where they stayed until 1981. East end life was important to them, but Alma always had aspirations to move back to Hornchurch in Essex and the surrounding areas where most of her family lived. George, Alma’s husband, was born and bred in Poplar in the East End – a true Cockney. His attitude was, ‘I’ll leave the East End feet first!’ However, his daughter Linda’s medical needs meant that she could no longer climb the stairs after major back surgery. So they had to move and Alma’s ambition was realised, but little did they know that Linda would eventually meet and fall in love with Ralph, and that despite her disabilities, she would get married and achieve great things with her husband.

Dr Lin Berwick (MBE) is a writer, lecturer, broadcaster and freelance journalist,
despite being totally blind, having Cerebral Palsy Quadriplegia, partial deafness
and being a permanent wheelchair user. She has previously published four books,
mostly on the subjects of disability. She was cared for by her mother, Alma, and
her father, George, until she met and married her husband, Ralph, who loved and
cared for her for almost twenty-five years until he died. Lin’s passion is classical
music – she loves going to concerts, socialising with friends and eating out.

Customer Reviews
5.0
5 reviews
5 reviews
  • Sangita Ahmed

    I started reading this book just after Christmas. I honestly couldn’t put it down till I had read the last page. My admiration for your strength grit and determination to conquer all odds , knows no bounds. You are a woman of substance and are an inspiration for all those who face seemingly unbeatable challenges in life. A warm, lucid and well written book laced with a complex mother and daughter relationship bound by deep love for each other . Congratulations again.

  • Anonymous

    This is a very well written true account of Lin Berwick’s life with her mother Alma and father George right up to the present time. It takes the reader through the joys and difficulties of having a severely disabled child and the impact on the mother and the rest of the family. Alma devoted her time to caring for her daughter in the East End of London whilst also trying to earn extra money to keep the family solvent. The educating of a bright but disabled child is fascinating as are the attitudes from many people encountered by Lin. Alma was incredibly supportive and soon told people to ask questions of Lin not herself. Alma found it incredibly difficult when Lin fell in love and married Ralph because her caring role was being taken away from her. There is a specific section when Lin went to work as a telephonist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and she had already memorised the entire directory of numbers. Even now she has a remarkable memory of figures including her bank account numbers. It is a true story which is hard to put down until you have finished it. Knowing Lin it has taken a lot of effort to write this book, dictating it to her PA Steve but I am glad it is all down on paper I know you will enjoy reading it, the difficulties as well as the achievements from raising money for the Spastics Society to establishing the Lin Berwick Trust which has three lovely holiday cottages for people with disabilities and their families. Lin draws no financial benefit from this venture as it is all put back into the Trust.

  • Raymond Herridge

    Unbelievable courage and endeavour. The book brings home the tenacity of a working-class family's battle with disability and the stresses resulting in a life dedicated to her daughter.

  • Marion Lander

    This is a book that sows how one woman can rise about many disabilities and marry the love of her life despite a controlling mother. Alma thought that she was the only person capable of looking after her daughter, but Ralpha and Lin had other ideas. This is a book well worth reading.

  • Sudi Pigott

    “Nobody Does It Better Than Me” is a powerful, wise and immensely personal book about how it truly feels to live life as a disabled person yet also universal in how it unflinchingly tackles family tensions that are not easy to resolve . It made me realise, more than ever before, how different and difficult the challenges are and how judgemental others can be. It is also an immensely readable insight into how it was to live post world war two when money was challenging and how to manage mother and daughter relationships that are strained. This is gritty stuff, yet with much warm humour, engagingly written and hard to put down.

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