Troubador Girl in the Mirror

Released: 28/02/2022

ISBN: 9781803130873

eISBN: 9781803138756

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Girl in the Mirror


Girl in the Mirror chronicles the life of Muriel: A giddy kipper of a girl who craves the spotlight of a movie star, an ordinary girl with extraordinary dreams, growing up either side of the war in a family who behave as if love is on ration. She finds a love to claim as her own in the streets of Manchester and begins a life that seeks to contain her restless spirit. It sparks out through her dancing shoes and love of art. So begins Muriel’s lifelong struggle with her fragile mind. Can she find the balance in her fractured life that is held together with love?

At ten she is full to the brim with dreams and ambition, a passion for dance, and a talent for it too, inspired by encounters with the paintings of Ford Madox Brown to create a life beyond her beginnings, Muriel takes on the mantle of family responsibility. It is a duty she resents when she wants to shine, to be in the spotlight, and escape a fate that seems mapped out for her. As a teenager on a street corner in Moss Side she meets Jim and sees a way to find a love that is lacking in her family and to meld him to her will, although his best friend Mickey still lurks and waits for her affection. She rails against the expectation that she will be a wife and a mother, is happy as a dance instructor and dressmaker, making silk gowns for rich ladies. 

In the summer of 1939 she marries Jim, and shortly after, engineers a trip to Canada where she is excited by the possibility of a new life in a new country and intends to wow the Canadians with her city sophistication, but after a long journey, the isolation of the family farm is a shock. She rallies and woos the locals with her talents, but her moment in the spotlight is interrupted by the declaration of war. They must return to England, where Jim is called up. 

She must choose to settle, or to fly.

Girl in the mirror to be found all over the country, in good bookshops on your doorstep.

Two book clubs this month, get in touch if you would like me to come to yours!

Still ghost writing (30 books for clients now - for more check out

Article on Ghost Writing for Mslexia in the September issue.

Written with such love and thought, fizzing with life, compelling and charming.

by Sophie Lambert

An evocative and involving read.

by Stephanie Cross

So much that is beautifully, and promising and appealing.

by Aki Shiltz

A human, complex and beautifully crafted novel.

by Kerry Hudson

J H  Abrams

A prolific ghost writer, I've written over twenty books for clients in the last four years. Life writing became my bag after winning the Wasafiri Life Writing Prize that led to a bursary with The Literary Consultancy to develop the novel, Girl in the Mirror, with the mentorship of Kerry Hudson. I have always written stories, long and short, for adults and children. One children's story is published in the Mumsnet Book of Bedtime Stories, by Walker books. I have performed my short stories at Birkbeck, where I took an MA in creative writing, with Michael Rosen and Julia Bell as my tutors, and in Waterstones, Piccadilly, with The Word Factory. I was the Writer in Residence at Talliston House where I ran workshops and The Writer's Circle, attended Garsdale for a Writer's Retreat, TLC workshops and SCBWI conferences and events, writing for their online Words and Pictures magazine. I've written three other novels, two YA and one MG, and have written for Mslexia, national websites, local press, blogs and screenplays. I used to be a teacher, in primary and forest school, and when I'm not writing, I have adventures with the women's outdoor pursuit group - She Who Dares. I wrote a book about them too.

Jools Abrams (JH Abrams)

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