The benefits of reading my novel Love, Secrets, and Absolution.
What are the benefits of reading Love, Secrets, and Absolution? This is a very interesting question that was recently posed to me about my latest book and it has given me the opportunity to express my reasoning behind my inspiration to write this story.
As with my debut novel, Alice, when I raised the issue about the changing alcohol, drinking habits of women. I have written my second novel, with a view to raising awareness of Asperger’s. Although I began writing this story well before March 2017. I was very pleased to discover that from March 2017 until April 2018, people in the United Kingdom, will be taking part in a number of activities to raise money, for further research and support for the Asperger’s groups. In addition, I was also encouraged by the Autism Awareness week that took place week commencing November 14th.
There are many statistics relating to Autism, but did you know that Eugen Bleular, a Swiss psychiatrist, was the first person to use the term in 1911. Fascinating historical information. However, it is only in recent years that the public is beginning to take notice of this, lifelong developmental disorder. A disorder that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.
When I think back, I can honestly say, the first time that I was made aware of this condition, was in 1988, when the movie, The Rain Man, was released. I clearly remember Dustin Hoffman in this role along with Tom Cruise. I was astounded at the high level of intelligence displayed by his brother Raymond, who was on the Autistic Spectrum.
More recently, the TV drama, The A Word, is hopefully educating the viewers about how a family member with Asperger’s, can bring families together as well as tear them apart.
Looking at the timeline, in relation to the public awareness of Asperger’s. I decided to set my fictionalised account of a young boy, with a condition that was not yet fully recognised, towards the end of the seventies. In order, for the reader to learn about living with this condition, I needed to follow the life of young Alfie, the protagonist. To achieve this, I wrote the story from the perspective of a coming of age story.
Although, risky on my part. I introduced Alfie just before his birth. My reasoning for this, to allow the reader to understand, early in the story that Alfie was not like other children.
Some may ask. Why choose a male protagonist? The facts prove, there are more males than females affected. Statistics show that in the seventies and eighties. One in every 2000, males were affected. Scientists are researching genetic and environmental data, to discover the cause, for the rise in Autism.
Although, the story follows Alfie, I wanted the readers to understand, how other family members, are affected, in relation to the struggles involved. In order to get inside the heart and the mind of Alfie’s mother, Grace; I decided to allow her to express her feelings through her own words, by writing a diary. The character of Grace, reinforces the importance of unconditional love and how this love can provide an all-important safety net.
Grace, like a number of fictional mothers, is portrayed as giving this unconditional love to her vulnerable son. It begs the question when a mother is faced with challenges related to the nurturing and protection of a son who is at risk of significant harm or exploitation, where does she get her inner strength from. Does nature provide such a woman with the coping mechanisms required to guide and protect him?
Sadly, as in real life. Grace, his mother, has health issues of her own. Hopefully, this provides a holistic perspective on the story. This allows the reader to view Alfie from a different dimension. Hence the use of the word, ‘Absolution’ in the title. Other minor characters in the story, also feel the need to be resolved of their mistakes, which nicely portrays the human spirit.
I sincerely hope, that in some small part. Love, Secrets, and Absolution, enables the reader, to learn how Asperger’s, can have an impact on the lives of the person dealing with this condition, and the lives of the people who love and support them.
Special Offer for readers in the UK
The Globeflower Agency are offering British readers a 15% discount off of Love, Secrets, and Absolution paperback edition via their website if you order before 15 December 2017. So hurry, order today!