Being an author for me is a kind of therapy and escapism into a world of endless parameters and genres. You can lose yourself in the power of the written word communicating your thoughts, fantasies and dreams to millions of others for all eternity. It can be addictive like chocolate, immensely satisfying and can, at times, be completely indulgent, to the point where mundane everyday tasks like the washing and ironing can simply wait! To be able to evoke emotions like laughter, humour, grief, anxiety and fear to a reader is the ultimate accolade in a writer’s arsenal. It is pure joy and extremely uplifting like sunlight glistening on water…….never disappointing and truly magical. My latest book, Church Lane, I started writing a couple of years ago. I had no idea at the time that the outline of the story where the main character loses her husband would manifest into real life for me. Losing my husband after 26 years of marriage from a massive heart attack makes you stop dead in your tracks and look at life so very differently. There is no doubt that it as an affect on your everyday writing as you draw from your own emotional experiences.
Charlotte a freelance journalist recently widowed moves from Islington in London to rural Oxfordshire and befriends Jason, a troubled twelve year old boy who is inarticulate, aggressive, sullen and unable to read. His mother Karen, an alcoholic, has little inclination or interest in the boy who is left to fend for himself. Her string of unsuitable suitors is the talk of the village. Some residents have voiced their opinions in wanting the family in affordable housing to be re-housed elsewhere. Spot, Jason’s dog, who he finds abandoned and tethered to a tree half starved, is his constant and only real friend, that is, until Charlotte arrives. In a strange sort of way they both need each other but in different ways. Together they move on with their lives enjoying each other’s company along with Spot and Charlotte’s dog Buster but their journey presents some challenging obstacles and decisions along the way.
Having read this author’s excellent previous two books, I didn’t hesitate to download this one. The strength of Church Lane is not so much a murder mystery but in the many emotions that the central character Charlotte experiences. It is a well written book which I read over a couple of sittings and enjoyed very much. It seems to me that the author has first-hand experience of some of the life-changing events that Charlotte faces and has penned that knowledge cleverly into the storyline. This makes it an interesting story line with a mix of characters dipping in and out and a must for holiday reading as it is fairly undemanding if sometimes emotional in places. Would definitely recommend.