Living the Difference – Richard Frost

Living the Difference is the second book in the Eastwood Story, set in Eastwood Minster. Like a modern Miss Reid, the story centres on wonderful characters in the local community.

Richard Frost, the author, has done a great job with this second book. Although it isn’t necessary to read the first book, Looking to Move On, as you read Living the Difference, you might want to, just to know more about the characters and their stories. I found the book fine as a standalone; it was merely my curiosity that wondered about what happened!

Living the Difference starts with the local vicar, Liz James and her nightmare. I thoroughly enjoyed that the end of the book brings the story full circle, a very neat way of writing! Liz James is one of the main characters, and I enjoyed her view of the locals. As the vicar, she ties a few people together in the story, which works well, as you get to know people like Jess and Steve Archibald better. It shows the links in the community as well, especially around newlyweds Sophie and Matt West and Matt’s daughter Tilly.

Richard has put some great characters together, showing the realities of life but also bringing hope to people. Jess Wilson and her almost fiancé for example. That was an interesting story twist, and I wasn’t sure who to feel most sorry for! Living the Difference brings hope in many of its twists, but no quick fixes or pat answers.

Although a story of hope, there is nothing preachy about Richard Frost’s novel

Then there is Alice, the teacher and Liz’s friend. I loved her dramatic storytelling as well as the tragic story itself. Made even better by Richard explaining at the end of Living the Difference that the people in Alice’s dramatic history lesson were related to him as well! What a wonderful way of Writing What You Know!

Living the Difference brings some unexpected twists and turns, even though the story is calm and meandering, making it far from boring and mundane. I would love to hear more about Liz James’ family including her newfound ones! I would also like to see their feelings explored more in-depth, as that kind of change can bring up a lot of questions. Will it have longer-term implications?

Living the Difference is a lovely read, relaxing and taking you alongside different characters. Often, the characters know each other, but their different perspectives on each other and life is what makes it interesting. There is George Armstrong, for example. Not the easiest person, but there are different ways of looking at him, and I enjoyed how Richard compared Liz’s view with that of the new character, John. It shows how even those seen as difficult can have different sides and knowing their back story can mellow our hearts.

Living the Difference offers a wonderful glimpse into community life and the various characters found in a parish. Living the Difference makes you want to know more about the people, as by the end of the book, you feel they have become firm acquaintances, and you want to meet up again. Although maybe not Steve. He’s better off where he is now, and I’m sure Jess agrees on that one!

I received a copy of Living the Difference from Richard Frost but was under no pressure or obligation to write a favourable review. I met Richard Frost at BookBlest 2023.,where there was an opportunity to buy his books. they’re also available via Amazon as well as via his website,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *