Troubador Into Dusk

Released: 03/03/2014

ISBN: 9781783063208

Format: Paperback

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Into Dusk


Into Dusk is the powerful story of long-lost siblings Jean, Barry and Audrey. The main character, Jean, is a middle-aged woman who takes on a dramatic life of role play by assuming multiple identities. She envisages the kind of person she once hoped to be and acts this out through her fantasy world of ideal characters. Always immaculate in appearance, she is highly critical of the apparent lack of care and moral shortcomings of others – and yet fails to see the irony in her own questionable behaviour... In an attempt to drive away her shame at not having fulfilled, as she sees it, her reproductive purpose in life, Jean becomes despondent. Since the death of her rational and kind husband, Tom, and her unrelenting anger at not having had children, Jean aches with loneliness. She spends her days occupied by menial tasks to keep her from thinking about her distant younger brother, Barry. Jean’s life had changed when she regretfully became estranged from him, despite them being inseparable during their childhood. Barry lives in a halfway house as a chef but when he goes to the hospital to work, he is challenged by the tempting opportunity to revert back to a life of criminality, drugs and alcoholism. Their mutual friend, Brenda, is keen to reunite Jean and Barry, but has lost touch with them both. Will she be able to find them and reunite them – or will time run out before they are reconciled? Shame, failure and disappointment are prominent motifs that are used throughout the text to engage with the reader whilst taking them on an emotional journey. As the characters’ flaws are slowly revealed, the reader is challenged to decide who to support in this moral predicament.

I will be attending the London Book Fair in 2014.

My short story, Sharing the Cost has been included in the anthology Weird Love, published by Pandril Press in Manchester.
The launch takes place on November 7th at The Anthony Burgess Centre in Manchester, where I will be reading a section of Sharing the Cost.

A brilliantly written novel and totally compelling read with Audrey the social worker creating humour throughout. Jean's pain and anguish at not being able to have children was skilfully and powerfully crafted. A riveting story with characters and a story that could easily resonate with our own experiences and lives.
An authentic read...

by Helen Hodgson

A great read. The time switches throughout the novel and the January December structure work very well. The pain of the childless woman is visceral and though Jean has clear faults we stay on side through all her strange behaviour. Audrey is hilarious, though she doesn't know it, and Barry is a study with whom many of us could empathise

by Quilter Baxendale

This is a great read. I particularly enjoyed the empathic descriptions of the misery of childlessness, and the vivid details of the processes involved for a person with bulimia. As an educator I loved too the value that is placed on education, especially education that provides a second chance for mature people. A warm and witty book.

by Julia Duggleby

Sharp as a Sheffield steel blade, Into Dusk, endorses the view that success is about managing disappointment and embracing the new, the unexpected. Widowed and childless, Jean, propelled by her studies, learns to love as an aunt, accepting that the present, not the past, is the only credible place to linger.

by Sarah Atkins-Navas

What a wonderful poignant, touching book. Will definitely be looking out for more work by this author.

by Claire Meadows

Ruth Owen

Ruth Owen is a teacher of English and Critical Thinking in a further education college.

She has a BA in English and French and an MA in Writing.

Ruth has had her writing published in The Guardian and The Times Educational Supplement. She is a member of The Times English Advisory Panel and is a reviewer of the Monday double episode of Coronation Street.

She has three children and lives in Sheffield with her husband and golden cocker spaniel.

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