1971. When 15 year-old Ellen returns home from school in Yorkshire, her world is fragmented as she finds her mother has hanged herself. A dark mist descends, yet somehow she must find a new way to live. After her mother’s funeral, Ellen is taken to live with her aunt and uncle and pressed into housework, forced to wait on the men of the household. She retreats into herself, into sullen, desperate silence to survive. In a fit of rebellion, she writes a letter to the local paper in support of the campaign for comprehensive education and the closure of her own prestigious selective school. Most of her fellow pupils shun her, and after a harsh rebuke from the headteacher, Ellen runs out of school – and far away, down to London to find her grandfather.
Her situation doesn’t improve, as she narrowly escapes the unwanted attentions of a stranger in King’s Cross. Yet when she finds herself caught in the midst of a radical political rally led by a group of young women protesting for their rights, suddenly her world is changed. Although her grandfather is in hospital, Ellen discovers new friendships as she joins the group and learns to stand up: for women and for herself.
Written to provide support, insight and comfort for those younger readers dealing with parental suicide, Ellen Lives On also offers keen perspective on long term women’s issues. An engrossing story of one girl’s struggle for self and survival, Ellen Lives On will be enjoyed by anyone interested in an addictive tale of love, loss and freedom.
Lynda Haddock has opted to use suffragette colours for her cover to further support the cause for women’s rights