Recently widowed Janet is a dark and embittered woman with a troubled past. Determined to throw off memories of her life with deceased husband, Frank, in the new year of 1990, she returns to her beloved job within the soft furnishing department of Masons retail store, to forge a new life for herself safe behind the mask of customer service.
But Janet’s newfound happiness is soon threatened by a feisty young co-worker in the form of Marian whom she loathes. Sparks fly between the two women and they are forced to go head to head for a management position to gain the upper hand. When a triumphant Janet wins, their tempestuous relationship intensifies, which ultimately forces Janet to confront her own past and the death of her husband. She soon needs to recruit family and friends to help resolve a painful decision she made in her youth which shadowed the whole of her married life, as well as keep herself out of prison!
As she fears losing control, her antagonistic relationship with Marian escalates and proves to be more challenging than Janet could ever imagine. Will Janet be able to face her own demons? And what will her future hold?
From author and reviewer, Lauren Sapala:
‘A profound exploration of how the political becomes personal for women, After Black is an incisive and nuanced portrait of one woman’s experience with abuse, oppression, and, ultimately, transformation.’
And a quote from the book:
‘It was when she was trying to be fine that she found herself gathering all the pearls of wisdom she remembered people saying at some point or other in response to adversities. She strung them together into a sermonic necklace of solace and protection to wear right next to her skin like a rosary: life’s a bitch and then you die, no use asking why, life is tough, just one dammed thing after another, the truth will out, you reap what you sow, what goes around comes around, God helps those who help themselves…and so on…’
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Lynne was born in Durham City in 1962. After moving to the Scottish Borders in 1998 she rekindled her love of art, becoming an artist, tutor and illustrator, before going on to study with the Open University as a mature student. Here, she gained a first class honours degree in the Humanities, with Literature and Art History, before going on to do a diploma in creative writing. Literary fiction is her writing style.
On Turtle Beach is her debut novel, inspired by a fascination with the nature of sibling bonds and the exotic setting of Dalyan in Turkey. This was followed by After Black. Set in Cheltenham in the new year of 1990, it draws upon the retail world of the eighties, life inside a department store, and it travels back to life in the fifties for women, all explored through the central character of Janet, who needs to come to terms with a difficult past of shadows to move into the light of personal growth.
Lynne is currently working on another novel concerning midlife changes with a male central character, a memoir, and a collection of short stories. She spends her time writing, blogging, painting nature, gardening, walking, and volunteering in social care.