My debut novel Invisible Ink tells the story of London lawyer Max Rivers who seems to have it all: a successful career, a beautiful girlfriend, an exclusive address. But Max harbours a long-buried secret that threatens to destroy his carefully constructed world. He is haunted by the disappearance of his younger brother Peter when the two of them were children and for which he feels responsible.
It has a small dementia thread that draws on my experiences with my own mother, who lived with the condition for the last decade of her life.
It’s a work of fiction of course, and was written some time before I began to write about dementia. What strikes me, reading it now, is how guilty I felt then, and still do, about my dear old mum and how I coped (or failed to cope) with her condition.
The story is written through Max’s eyes during two periods of his life: the accomplished professional he is now and the five-year-old boy he once was, deeply affected by the arrival of his baby brother and his dad walking out soon afterwards.
The blurb describes it as “a mesmerising novel of guilt, loss and betrayal within a family – of sibling jealousy that threatens to run out of control, of a mother’s life all-but forgotten through the fog of dementia and of a son who longs to, but cannot, escape his past. Invisible Ink offers a deft exploration of the complex emotions hidden beneath the surface of all our lives; drawing its readers into Max’s story and leading them, step by careful step, towards its inevitable dénouement”.
I hope you enjoy it. According to some of the reviews, others seem to have done! Here are just a few:
“As a reader I was especially struck by the vivid way the descent into dementia was written” – Goodreads.com
“Invisible Ink is a haunting and moving debut that excels at drawing attention to dementia in a thought-provoking way, while at the same time providing a fantastic emotional read”. – Lovereading.co.uk
“The authors writing style and her use of vocabulary is poetically awesome – and her grasp and understanding of dementia so accurate – I could almost be reading about my own mother who sadly passed from this dreadful disease a year ago” – Amazon review
“When the author details the guilt and emotional struggle the lead role has with regards to his Mother’s dementia it is subtle and honest”. Amazon review
Over the years my articles and short stories have appeared in countless national newspapers and various websites. Of the selection below, some are scanned and are best viewed by clicking on the title and then clicking the diagonal arrow, top right, in order to read them.
Sister Love – www.totally4women.com
The Small Miracle – www.totally4women.com
Golden Girl – www.totally4women.com
Jack’s Honour– The Sunday Express S Magazine
Tess – The Sunday Express S Magazine
Jubilee Party – The Sunday Express S Magazine
The Corridor – The Sunday Express S Magazine
The Invitation – SW Magazine
Dementia stole my mother from me, but also revealed a shocking truth – The Sunday Telegraph Stella magazine, December 2014
German centres bring lonely older people and children together – Guardian, October 2014
http://www.openforumevents.co.uk/real-innovation-dementia-care-support/ Guest blog for Innovations in Dementia conference, Barbican, July 2014
Will the G8 dementia summit improve care in the UK? – The Guardian, December 2013
Who’s really at fault over care for the elderly? We are – Thunderer column, The Times, June 2013
Big Fairies and M&S suits: a Hansard reporter reveals all – The Spectator, January 2013
Please let doctors help the dying as they did my family – Thunderer column, The Times, November 2012
The ‘soul midwives’ who help the dying pass away with dignity – The Sunday Express S Magazine
A Priceless Treasure, my IVF baby – The Sunday Express S Magazine
Lest we forget: There can be light in the darkness for those affected by dementia – The Sunday Express S Magazine
My father saved all his life – but was failed by the NHS – The Sunday Telegraph, March 2010
Dementia: The longest cruellest goodbye – Sunday Express S magazine, 2006 – the first piece I wrote on the subject, chronically how my mum’s dementia effected, not just her, but our whole family