Review: A New ME: Looking to the future

A New ME: Looking to the future - Barry John Evans review

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 ‘A New ME: Looking to the future’ by Barry John Evans

A New ME - Barry John EvansThis book is a self-published autobiographical account of the author’s journey with chronic illness, specifically ME (10% of sales go to the charity Invest in ME). It is very much a personal story, and includes some details of the author’s early life prior to ME, including some details of his experience as a person living with Asperger’s Syndrome.

If you like personal stories, then this book may be for you. However, the author had various difficult times during his early life, and although he does not dwell on these, they could be triggering for some people.

One of things I found difficult when reading the book was that the author wrote only briefly about his earlier life experiences, many of which could be more interesting and engaging if he were to write about them in more detail. Alternatively, he could have summarised them more briefly, in order for his ME story to stand out more.

That being said, more detail was included in the part of the book which is about the author’s ME story, and this was far more engaging. It made me want to keep reading to see what was going to happen. He also detailed his thoughts and feelings of the time a lot more, which helped me to relate to him.

Throughout the book there are quite a lot of grammatical errors, some of which caused me to become a bit confused because they involved tenses, which can alter the meaning of sentences quite significantly. The author also made some unusual editorial decisions, such as quoting letters from his doctor and charity website definitions of his conditions in full. I guess that this was to make the process of writing easier, however I personally felt that this interrupted the flow of the book because it introduced a different writing style, sometimes for several pages. It would have been better for the author to summarise these documents in his own words, perhaps including shorter quotes from them.

The end of the book is quite positive, with the author detailing his current occupations and interests, which shows that there is more to life with chronic illness than the illness itself. There are also some photos of his cute pets, which I rather enjoyed!

Overall I have quite mixed feelings about this book. But, if you like personal stories, you might want to give it a go.

Melanie ChandlerReviewer Bio

Melanie is a blogger, aspiring writer and former social worker living well with ME/CFS. She loves the colour blue, music, being outside, dancing in her wheelchair and anything with stars on. She blogs about chronic illness, disability and social work at