Always and Forever – my new book out on May 1…

Just well how do we surf the waves of life? There are the daily little laps, over which we bob relatively effortlessly and successfully, sometimes not even getting our faces wet. But what of the huge ones, which catch us unawares, crashing on top of our heads? This metaphor may be slightly drowning everything out but whether you sink or swim (sorry), is something which has always fascinated me. All of us experience difficulties, crises, shocks – which often or not happen when we are least prepared, just when you are dog-paddling away, thinking how well you’ve got the hang of life.

This is the experience of the women in Always and Forever. Jo is happily married to John until something happens from which they can’t seem to right themselves. Jo’s best friend, Nicole, is blind-sided when her husband’s latest affair is in a league of its own and she struggles to work out where she fits into the situation, refusing to just give up and walk away.

And Jo’s mother, Marietta, has been knocked for six by a reunion with the love of her life, Patrick. She has rediscovered the teenage passion she had given up on and, despite all her wisdom and experience, is willing to trust him with everything she has.

We all know stoical women. Perhaps, we are even one of them. Remember when Hillary Clinton was being stalked and staked by Donal Trump during the last debate in the election? I heard a commentator on the radio say that if she wasn’t a woman, and therefore not as stoical, she would have seen him off at a much earlier stage. But Hillary took on more and more – abuse, attacks, stress – believing that debate and intelligence and a coherent message was enough. But it wasn’t. Not quite.

But we all know there’s a line, that there’s a point and when it is crossed, the decision is made for us. We have to act, to change things, to take control again. Sometimes you don’t choose to cross it, sometimes you find yourself at the other side of it and know that you have no choice but not to take it anymore. The three women in Always And Forever all find that line, the point of which they have to change the way they are heading.

For Hillary, that line was the election. For Jo, Nicole and Marietta, they discover that floating isn’t enough, sometimes you have to start to swim.

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