It’s an old story. Girl goes astray, has the baby or not, struggles with the shame or not, lives to tell the tale or not. It’s an old story, but for every woman who has lived this story or knows it as a family secret, it is altogether unique.
In 1971, when a naive teenage girl is disgraced after an unplanned pregnancy and hushed-up abortion, she becomes aimless and suicidal, until her mother reveals a long-hidden grandmother and she sets out to uncover the truth behind a family secret. Told in alternating chapters, the story moves between the psychedelic sixties and the roaring twenties, as the modern girl searches for the dutiful Catholic daughter who, after losing her illegitimate baby to the orphanage in 1929, perishes three years later to a back-alley abortion far from home. Her granddaughter determines to remember and write about her nearly forgotten grandmother, and thus come to terms with her own unwelcome role as the family’s bad girl.
Her Story is an 80,000-word novel about the deadly mix of sex and death that shadows the ordinary path of a girl looking for love.
This book has been years in the making, with many titles. It appeared on this website for some time in 2022 and 2023 under the working title, Mother Knot. Other titles have come and gone, but I feel settled with this one. At last count I have written eight drafts and have had as many titles. I have worked extensively with a couple of excellent editors and also received help from my writing groups. The photo above shows the revision notebook I used a couple of titles ago, with color-coded sticky tabs to guide me through the process. I have written about the creative process in an essay called The Flow and The Forge. This photo shows the forge.
Excerpts forthcoming, when they are released from the forge.