My First Published Book – An Extract

Here is an extract from my published book, ‘The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost.’ I hope that you enjoy it and consider checking out the kindle version of it.

How could I keep everything as normal as possible? How could I hold my head up high? Nothing made any sense to me anymore. I was overwhelmed, bewildered and out of painkillers. My head pounded slowly as it had for the past ten hours. A night spent at my mum’s house was needed but I really ought to go back there, to the home I had shared with Michelle. My heart was sat throbbing gently in the soles of my shoes. My ears quietly rang. My nose ran tirelessly. I felt as though reality had subsided and everything was a mix between chaos and sublime fantasy. My children needed me. No doubt about that. But what could I say? What should I do? Who could I turn to? Why didn’t I see any of this coming? I was not one to cry but tears fell out of my eyes like rain from an overloaded storm cloud suddenly offloading. Like daggers, they seemed to cut across my cheeks and dig into my jaw, carving faint yet permanent etchings across my face and staining me forever like ageing creams dissolving the past and dripping poignantly onto the floor as if flooding and muddying the future and any chance of escape.


I had put a few clothes in a bag last night and got out of there as the police had urged me to. They wanted to examine the house and take finger prints and find out exactly what she did. I had accidentally taken her jumper with me. As I picked it out of the bag I thought about the last time I had seen her in it. Just the other evening. She had been cooking salmon and I recalled her taking it off because she said it stank of fish. I sniffed it now and it was clean and fragrant. It reminded me of spring and the strolls we took through the hills. My heart sank back down into those soles and I gathered myself together. My kids were stood either side of me as they saw me caress her jumper. They leant into my shoulders and we stood in silence, looking out of the window, reflecting quietly.


I gathered up their stuff and we got in the car quickly. My mum asked if I would be alright on the road driving in this state. I tried to make her believe that I was capable and I started to drive off, without looking over my shoulder. I needed to face up to this. As I drove quite slowly through the mainly car-less roads, the usual warmth associated with going home did not reassemble and I was left feeling confused, uncomfortable and out of place. I noticed a glazed look in Alfie’s eyes and the sparkle of partly evaporated tears chalked into his face. I could not determine the way Tess felt exactly as she looked quite serious yet I sometimes thought I could see the beginnings of a smile, especially as we passed some of our favourite haunts, like the park, the duck pond and the place where she went to dancing lessons. I prayed to a god that I had never really believed in that she might get through this in one piece and have nothing but fond memories of her wonderful mother. Little did I know this day was going to resonate with her more strongly than anyone else. Alfie was the one with mixed emotions, so I largely anticipated him suffering greatly.


We turned into our street eventually and I could still see the police cordon wrapped around our garden. There seemed to be no sign of anyone though and I had been assured we could return home today. So we got out of the car slowly and were soon approached by our elderly neighbour who hugged us all in turn and gave me some stew in a little plastic pot. ‘It must be so awful for you,’ said Margaret as she squeezed Alfie tightly.

Book Review: Nine Perfect Strangers

As a big fan of both the book, ‘Big Little Lies’ and the HBO series, I thought it would be great to sample another book by Liane Moriarty. I started to read it and was soon drawn into this novel which centres around nine characters who venture out to a Health Spa in a remote Australian venue.

Liane is very capable of writing characters that are full of life and have incredible back stories that are not only relatable, but also fascinating. I love the fact that each chapter comes from a different character. In the third person, each character bounces back and forth with their takes on events that unfold.

The story is interesting as it really makes you think about mental health and the desire to make your mind and body better. Each person has a reason for needing some nourishment and mindfulness. Some are tormented while others are merely after time away from the mill.

I enjoyed the setup of the storyline and loved the modern references and context. It made me think about how much faith one can put into therapists and how we trust certain people purely because of their job titles. The situation seems intriguing early on as the visitors are banned from using phones and forced to remain silent for a few days. THEN things start to get weird.

Her way of outlining a tale is magical with a real prowess over the English language. This book will draw you in and I hope that you will pick up a copy and join in the discussion about the scenarios that unwind. This book deserves five stars and I cannot wait until Nicole Kidman turns it into a series or film.


If I were an animal…

I would be a sloth

And slumber the days away,

Hoping that time might stand still.

If I were a plant…

I would be a cactus

And reside in the desert,

Absorbing the sunlight quietly.

If I were an object,

I would be a pillow

Longing for cuddles

Chilling on the bed constantly.