My novels: Gifts from Unfaithful Women; How does a man know?; Hard Lessons; Each Man’s Death

You can read the first two chapters of my novel, Gifts from Unfaithful Women, here. This novel is available from Amazon as a Kindle eBook and as a paperback.

How Does a Man Know?, is being prepared for publication. Although Adam and Imogen are married, and share a house, they live separate lives. Imogen has affairs with other men, and Adam has a longstanding relationship with Millie, a successful author and Imogen’s cousin. Millie is also married, her husband in a mental hospital, unaware of her when she visits him, and Adam has urged Millie to leave her husband, and to live with him, but Millie, a Catholic, cannot do this. They stay at hotels, and go on holiday together, and on one holiday there is a message that Millie’s husband has tried to kill himself, telling the hospital staff that Millie has left him. Millie’s husband dies, and Adam thinks that they can now live together, but Millie says she still cannot, and will not see him again.

At a party both Adam and Imogen are drunk and uninhibited, and go back to their house and make love, and a few weeks later Imogen comes to Adam and tells him that she is pregnant, and that he is the father. They are both devastated, wondering what they are going to do. ‘The worst parents in the world for the poor little thing’, Imogen says. Adam longs for a child, they decide to see if they can live together, telling each other that they must both be faithful, and they are surprised at how easily they renew their life together. Imogen loses their child, a late miscarriage, and Adam thinks that this is the end of their life together, that pregnancy was an accident, but they remain together, and a daughter is born. A subsequent pregnancy also ends in a late miscarriage, and it is discovered that Adam has a rare gene that means that most of his sons will not survive, and when Imogen becomes pregnant with a boy again, they decide to abort the child, rather than have Imogen go through pregnancy only to lose the child later. Adam finds this hard, telling himself that he has killed his child   Their life is further complicated. Millie kills herself, blaming Adam for leaving her but leaves all of her papers to Adam, papers that are of interest to feminist writers. Imogen is suspended from her post as ward sister at the maternity hospital, wrongly accused of unduly influencing a woman who belongs to a religious sect to have an abortion (every one of her eight pregnancies has ended in a miscarriage). They are pursued by the newspapers, both portrayed as monsters, Imogen for having selfishly got rid of her children, and Adam for failing to support Millie. Will these problems destroy their newly-rebuilt marriage?

The first two chapters can be read here.

Hard Lessons recounts the life of a boy, Jack, growing up in a back-to-back slum in a midlands industrial town in the 1820s. It is a time of great changes in England, men agitating for the franchise, culminating in the great reform act of 1832, and the growth of industry and commerce. Jack is determined to make a better life for himself than he has had where he grew up. He is not above some minor criminality, but seizes every opportunity he can to make some money for himself, and he is succesful, with a dressmaking business with his former teacher, and as a importer of fabrics from Holland. His emotional life is not so succesful, however, and he wonders if he will ever find a woman who will be a companion.  You can read the first chapter here.

Each Man’s Death is a novel about the consequences for others of the death of a man, James, in 1808. His father, well-to-do,  had warned him not to pay attentions to the village girls, and when warnings proved insufficient bought a commission and sent him off to join his uncle’s regiment in Portugal, where the Penisnsular War, which was to free the Portuguese and Spanish from French rule was beginning. James is sent to join General Wellesley’s headquarters staff, but on the way is hit in the leg by a bullet, fired by a French sniper. He is taken in, and nursed, by two Portuguese women, but dies. The novel explores the consequences for others of his death. His father soon regrets sending him away, his mother is never reconciled to his loss, the village girl Mary that he left behind, and even for characters who never met him. You can read the first chapter here.

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