Updated: Jan 13
I have always enjoyed writing books which have an edge to them. I love to write about women's lives and loves. I wanted to write about lives torn apart through intolerance and ignorance and especially when those affected get a second chance. Then I had an idea.
Coercive control in a relationship hit the headlines when in 2015 it became an offence within the Serious Crime Act which became law that year. It mainly affected women, who, when the process started, were usually discouraged from having friends and were cut off from their families too. Often they were denied money, with the whole purpose being to exert total control over their lives; what they wore, how they styled their hair. Such relationships were often abusive too. I decided to write a book about such a relationship. The Freckle Counter.
Celia Harvey is married to a brute of a man. She suffers all that is described above, even to how far she fills the kettle and how many teabags she can use during the course of a day. She cannot go out or have friends visit her. She is often raped and beaten too. She lives in a respectable road, where nobody suspects what goes on behind closed doors. This has gone on for five long years but longer still is the memory of being torn from her childhood friend Ruth who befriended a lonely Celia when she was five, after being bullied over her red hair and endless freckles. The girls become a lot more than friends and at the age of 13, with Ruth exploring the full extent of the spread of Celia’s freckles, they are caught together in a compromising act. They are parted. Celia sent away to live with her aunt. They never saw each other again as children.
Celia attends her cousin’s wedding and Ruth, who's best friend and workmate is the bride, couldn’t attend, recognizes her from wedding photos she was sent. She sets out to find Celia and soon learns of her plight. Ruth takes her home and the women embark on a relationship which was always meant to be. But soon a visitor arrives intent on destroying everything.