Hi all. First a question - what 'friends'? People I find on this site?
Secondly, to get this done: people might be interested in my writing, in which case feel very free to find my 'What Empty Things Are These', available from Regal House Publishing (my publisher), Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Foyles, Booktopia, and orderable from any bookshop.
And here's the synopsis:
In 1860’s Britain there is nothing unusual in a man beating his wife or impregnating the servant girls. When George Hadley’s aggression triggers a stroke and coma, his wife discovers all she thinks of as hers is to pass to her ten-year-old son Toby. Facing impoverishment, Adelaide seems as powerless as her ladies’ maid, Sobriety. Beyond the petit point work of the parlour and the strictures of religion and social expectation, these two women of different class remake the rules and go out to discover what lies beneath the drapes and tassels of Victorian Britain. They learn that life is urgent, exciting… but cheap. Each undergoes a loss of innocence, as well as a few unexpected adventures into alleyways, a tunnel and a séance, while becoming aware of the dark and heart-rendingly abusive underside of respectable English society.
What Empty Things are These is about what happens to women who look into the face of this newly industrialised and technological, and still patriarchal, age. Change is everywhere. Some, such as Adelaide and Sobriety, walk toward it, while others, such as the Hadley’s housekeeper Mrs Staynes, are terrified by it. Even domestically, they discover, change comes about when the patriarch ceases to be head.
Adelaide and Sobriety discover that contradiction, fraud and farce abound. Spiritualists prey on those left behind by these strident times; women are encased in clothing that imply both modesty and sexuality; wealth flows to the powerful who prey upon the weak. Adelaide and Sobriety, in their way, show us that every era has secrets that must be uncovered for real social progress.
But the truth of the age is encapsulated for them, and us, in the underlying tale of the vulnerable urchin girl. ©