There's nothing more interesting to a reader like me than to read a book and then perhaps be fortunate enough to meet the author and in the case of Julia Blackburn her husband Herman Makkink too.
If you have read The Three of Us you will feel as if you know Herman as did I, so it must be quite disconcerting for the poor chap to be approached like an old friend by someone he has never met before. My thoughts soon after I had read the book,
'It seems corny to say it is a story of redemption but the book blurb doesn't hesitate to say so and it truly is a remarkable book, humour and lack of blame do prevail and in its final pages it is completely uplifting. It conquers and soars above all that has gone before in Julia's life and the final twist of happiness will leave you feeling on cloud nine for Julia.'
Herman was of course that 'final twist of happiness', an absolute delight to talk to and spent the week living up to his introduction as "the gorgeous Herman". Herman is Dutch, very quiet and unassuming with a quickfire sense of humour and the most mischievous eyes and smile imaginable and he's also a brilliant artist and sculptor (check out his 'famous' prop used in the film of The Clockwork Orange) who is currently recounting an episode or two from his own life's journey which will be published next year. I've heard about 'the episodes' and know this book promises to be something very special indeed.He's also illustrating his book and if you've seen the pictures he did for Julia's book My Animals and Other Family you will know Herman has a most distinctive and beautiful style.
Herman was usually to be found sitting in some distant corner of the garden, writing but never so far away that he didn't hear the chink of coffee cups and a lovely picture of Herman and Julia together here too.