My novel, It wasn't Always Late Summer, is a powerful story of Mary, a single teenage mother living on a housing estate plagued with predatory abuse and prostitution, and Annie, an innocent girl whose ghostly presence links the central characters over two generations, bringing the events that led to her death, the loss of innocence and the unfolding story to a dramatic, thrilling conclusion.
It is a long held view that child abuse is rooted in the cultural heritage of denigrating children and that most abusers are repeating child rearing patterns they themselves experienced as children. It wasn't Always Late Summer, explores this thesis in the context of predatory sexual abuse. But it isn't intended to be an academic thesis.
It is a mystery-suspense thriller. It explores through the characters the psycho-social dynamics of the culture of sexual abuse and grooming. Some readers have said they find it compulsive and engaging but they do find it difficult. They put it aside several times. There is a vulnerability in all the characters that creates a sense of trepidation. It is a deeply disturbing story. I can understand the readers difficulty. I cried several times in writing it.
It is a ghost story too. But I didn't set out to write a ghost story as such. In many ways Annie represents the lost innocence that runs through the narrative. It is a story with an interesting twist.