Case Studies March 16th, 2017Robert Desmond
‘Stanley and Anneliese’ was commissioned by Jenn Clark for her husband Dominic. It charts the lifelong romance of Dominic’s grandparents, who met in the aftermath of World War II:
In times of war, it can seem as if there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Not so in Stanley & Anneliese’s story. Anneliese spent her teenage years trying to make the best of living in Nazi Germany during wartime. Stanley Green had dreams of something bigger and he ran away to fight the good fight. On one fateful day on the side of the Rhine River, fate nudged these two together and their story began. Once the pair was brought together, nothing could tear them apart and they soon married before beginning their life in England. The couple raised two daughters and lived long and happy lives.
Jenn told us: “As a gift for my Husband’s 40th I wanted to give him something to treasure and the story of his grandparents is such a wonderful one I wanted to immortalize it.”
She says: “From the very first contact I knew I had made the right choice! Emily from Story Terrace was so helpful and the communication was perfect. I knew where I was every step of the way. The book (which was a surprise for my husband’s 40th) was a real sucess and Judy (the writer) captured the story perfectly. I really enjoyed the process.”
And the finished book? “Its stunning. My husband said it was the best gift he had ever received.”
‘A Legitimate Life’ is dedicated to David’s three teenage granddaughters. It chronicles his difficult start to life, and the many happy years since: “
In 1939, unmarried mothers faced immense pressure to give up their children – so David Taylor has always been profoundly grateful that his mother defied society’s expectations and kept him. Despite growing up against the backdrop of World War II, David grew up happy. He left school at 15 and pursued a successful career with the Gas Board. He met and married Jennifer, the love of his life, early. Together they have shared two sons and 50 years and counting. He may come from humble, ‘illegitimate’ beginnings, but David feels as though he has lived a long, happy and very much ‘legitimate life’, the title of his book!
David told us: “Had it not been for Story Terrace, I would have never got around to writing my life story, and had I done so, I doubt that it would have been as highly readable as the book has turned out to be! Lisa Chilvers – the writer of my book – has a relaxing and gently probing interviewing style which put me at my ease. In wide-ranging interviews spanning more than seven decades of my life, Lisa was able to sift out key events and anecdotes and weave them into a highly readable story – not simply a chronological sequence of factual events.
The quality of the book – the choice of font, paper, general layout of text and photographs – was first class, as was the hardback binding. I was especially pleased with the front cover. Family members and friends have been very impressed with the end result.”
‘Rising Butterfly’ tells the tale of Ichko Gombodorj, 38, who was one of the first migrants from Mongolia to the UK after the collapse of the USSR:
A star pupil in Mongolia, Ichko had a very bright future lying ahead of her. In 1998 she travelled to the UK to learn English, the first generation of post-Soviet Mongolians allowed to leave the former Communist regime. Injustice and a string of betrayals left her trapped, unable to travel home, and now with two children to feed. In this moment of crisis, a spiritual awakening showed her a new path.
Ichko told us: “Writing my own book was a first time experience and I could not have achieved it without the help of Story Terrace. I met the company just when I needed in my life. Story Terrace’s approachable, flexible and informal but professional approach and the reasonable price suited me well — so I could relax, trust and open my heart, ensuring that my intention was understood correctly and the text captured my authentic voice.
“I would recommend Story Terrace to anyone. Every life has story to tell and Story Terrace gives you a chance to share with the world.”
“I am so proud of the book and the story. Rebecca has an amazing talent. Coming across your website must have been heaven-sent!”
‘Don’t Switch Me Off’ was written for Sue Hodges, to bring her stories together for her children and grandchildren:
Though Sue Hodges now lives a quiet life on a Gloucestershire farm, she has had more than her fair share of adventures. Full of mischief as a child, Sue grew up to be a fearless woman. In the sixties she was propped up at the bar – vodka tonic in hand, Marvin Gaye in the air – revelling in the atmosphere of London’s most swinging decade. Ahead of her time, she then joined an agency to indulge her passion for travel. She lived abroad in Turkey and then in Greece, where she saw the tanks of the Greek military junta roaring through the streets of Athens. Sue returned to England when she realised she wanted to start a family. Though she lost her dear first husband, she remains a loving daughter, mother of three and gran of two, who now shares her life with Ken, her 68-year-old rugby-playing farmer.
What Sue and her lovely writer Nick McGrath created together will be a treasure for Sue’s friends and family this Christmas and for many years to come, especially as we managed to record her genealogy going back to 1681 in her book.
Watch Sue’s video testimonial:
In her biography, ‘Into the Light’, Teresa Samuel recalls her hometown of Wau in the south of Sudan, shaded by mahogany and mango trees. Despite memories of hunger and hardship, her family were happy and lived in the rich grassland of the savannah, just above the equator, where the air was sweet and fragrant with the scent of wildflowers. When Teresa was just 11, all of this changed with the onset of the Sudanese civil war:
South Sudanese defence forces clashed with Arab officers from the north just miles from Teresa’s school, and fifty years of fighting began.
After completing her studies, Teresa moved north to Khartoum with her husband and children where she witnessed the desperate plight of Sudan’s internally displaced people. Having studied rural education and nutrition, Teresa knew she had the tools to make a difference in their lives. With several other women, Teresa founded WOTAP, a women’s training and promotion programme, to empower the displaced women and children of Sudan.
A testament to her commitment to education, Teresa was awarded funding from British, Dutch and American governments. Now retired and living in London, Teresa acts as the matriarch of a large family whilst her daughter carries on her humanitarian work in her home country.
Teresa told us: “Sara really took the time to help me to find the structure in the story of my life. Making this book has given me the time to reflect on what I chose to do with my life and the people who have helped me along the way.”
In ‘A Stroll Down Memory Lane’, the Pepper family bond is evident – as they put it: “It has been a blessing and a joy to have faith, family and friends as the cornerstones of our lives”.
Dick and Sara Anne Pepper first met in Florida in 1960. Though it was not love at first sight, by the second date Sara Anne found herself falling for Dick. They were married in 1961, and went on to have 3 children and 7 grandchildren. Dick and Sara Anne are not only dedicated parents and grandparents, they are dedicated humanitarians. They took mission trips to Uganda, Honduras, Mexico, and Appalachia. Dick volunteered with CERT, Auburn Citizens Police Academy, and the Red Cross. Their adventurous spirit took them all over the world, and they managed to be back in time for the births of all but one of their grandchildren.
The book created by Dick, Sara Anne, and their writer Amy Bonnaffons, is something they will have forever. Their stories can now be shared with future great- grandchildren and beyond.
The Pepper family told us: “We loved Amy. She was a delightful person. We had 3 sessions which she recorded. She then made a great 1st draft.”
“I would give the overall experience a 5 of 5. I will certainly recommend this to other families and friends…The overall process was very good and my parents, and my brothers, really were impressed with the end product. My parents enjoyed working with Amy through the interviews, very high marks for her.”