In November 2019, local author Roger Sanders handed his Brexit-themed novel manuscript to a book publisher in Newport library with a dream of publication. Almost 2 years to the day, his debut novel ‘Ted’s Cafe’ has finally been published.

Ted’s Cafe has been a labour of love for Mr Sanders, who lives in Newport, and follows the story of David Tanner, an ex-journalist born at the ‘fag end’ of the baby boomer years, and his friends, who dissect the news at the only place still trading from their youth — ‘Ted’s Cafe’.

The story follows the post-work life and loves of the 4 old friends as they try and make sense of a fast-changing world in the countdown to Brexit.

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But, at its heart, Ted’s Cafe is about the everyday events that will connect with many of Mr Sander’s generation and current time of life.

Roger says:

“I wanted to write a story about friends reconnecting in retirement and how they adjust to their new lifestyle. It’s about friendship, betrayal, newfound love and attempting to understand the modern world and the issues that dominate everyday folk”.

No matter what opinion you hold, Brexit certainly divided the country, and it’s a feeling that is very much reflected in the novel. Although, as Mr Sanders is quick to point out, the repercussions of Brexit are very much evident now:

“I think the longer time has passed since Ted’s Cafe was written, you only need to look at the news to see how Brexit has come to be more relevant, as well as wider issues of climate change, which punctuate the news events during the year-long timeframe of the novel”.

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Although the novel is not based on the Isle of Wight, Mr Sanders is very much an Islander, as he explains:

“The Island and the characters I have met over the years have influenced me. I love walking in the West Wight, where I regularly get ideas. My family lived in the Shalfleet area for eight generations. I enjoy meeting up with friends for coffee at various locations and that helped inspire the story”.

Ted’s Cafe published by Beachy Books is priced at £7.99 and is available to order at all good bookshops including Waterstones in Newport and Medina Books in Cowes, and it is available to buy online. For more information see the publisher’s website

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