War Babies

War Babies

Published by Universe at Unicorn, May 2022.

This is the story of three sisters, Millie, Di and Cleo. They are the war babies. Growing up in a world hungover from war, the sisters struggle to leave their mother behind and build their own lives. Millie turns to marriage, motherhood and God. Di becomes a foreign correspondent, finding a role in war-time Vietnam. Cleo chooses words as a defence against the world. A successful novelist, for a time she is content to be a sardonic voyeur.

Each sister is lost in her own world where extreme need leads to extreme behaviour. Then Cleo, the youngest and wildest, becomes the catalyst to smash the pattern. Who will adapt and survive? Who will find peace?

From the 50s to the present day, and with elements of a psychological thriller, I tried to show how three women navigate a future where men are not the only answer. The focus shifts from one sister to the next, putting human nature, its flaws and its virtues, under the spotlight. Yet there is hope at the heart of this story which leaves the reader wondering long after the final twist is revealed.

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My Stories Update

I have finished the first draft of My Stories. In an earlier posting here, I talked about the difficulties for a novelist trying to write a memoir. Out of the imagination into reality. A comedown that takes a bit of working through. At one point, the answer seemed to be to intersperse the lived world with the world in my head. In other words, have eight pages of Cora, an elderly actress so self-centred that she sees everybody as an audience, including her children. Or Henry, who for just thirty minutes transforms the girl in his office into the only person he can ever love. These alternated with eight pages of how I first saw bomb creators in London when I was five, and walked through a minefield on the Sussex cliffs when I was six. Or survived a man with a gun entering our home on Sierra Alta Way, Hollywood. Or visited the Dubai woman’s prison when attending the national literacy festival there. The trouble was, early readers preferred the stories of my own life. So then I reconsidered. And now I have a first draft.