By Grace Dandridge

‘All or Nothing’ by David Parker is a wonderful nostalgic read. From the first page, you are drawn into the happy-go-lucky days of the 50s, when there were no phones or computers to distract from friendships. We are dropped into the close-knit group of Christopher, Marion and Robin, three teenagers from different backgrounds during a relaxed summer of bike rides, trips to the beaches, parties in barns, drinking coke, eating cakes and sharing stories.

David Parker vividly describes the highs and lows of families and friendship. Each character reflects one’s own childhood, cleverly reminding you of happy and awkward moments, the desperation to be part of the group when you stand on the outside. Christopher, from a middle-class family, with an over-powering father, finds himself muddled, on the cusp of adulthood, friendships becoming tangled with love and jealousy. Can Christopher find happiness? Will the path from childhood to adulthood be full of anguish?

Most readers will know David Parker for his journalism. After growing up in Salisbury, he had many press jobs, including working for the BBC, and the Western Daily Press. David has a life-long interest in farming and the countryside and has been bringing local news to the community for more than 25 years. I wondered what it was like for a journalist to write a novel?

“I didn’t have to think about it, the story just flowed,” David told me. “I was having to commute from Salisbury to Fleet Street every day, so every morning I would scribble away in my notebook.”

Is any of the story autobiographical?

“All or Nothing is fiction but every writer bases their characters on people and events they have experienced. The story and characters came from the heart.”

There are already glowing reviews of the book on Amazon: Five stars: “Took me back to my days of youth… what would I not give to go back and undo things… Nostalgic”. This is a book that is blissfully easy to fall into, the characters become your friends, dropping you into a world of farming, countryside, love and friendship. Highly recommended.

Published by Michael Terence Publishing

All or Nothing

Available from Amazon: £8.95, and E-books.