Enduring love. Loss. The eternal struggle for life’s meaning. The hand that first held mine. Atonement. Yes, there are book titles mixed up in there, but these are also the themes of my writing.
My influences probably started with Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, maybe that’s the first memory I have of a deep feeling of poignancy: an understanding of irretrievable loss. Peter wants to fly free for a while, as all babies (according to J.M. Barrie) are capable of, but he leaves it too late to return to his mother. The window is barred and she has another baby; there is no place now for him. He spends his life as an eternal boy, living in Neverland, regretting his loss of ‘Mother’.
A book that impacted deeply on me as an older child was A Dream in The House. Every generation of a family has a set of twins named Ann and Jane, and the Ann always disappears and the Jane tries to get her back. Once the final Jane manages to retrieve her twin, every other Ann is also restored in retrospect. Loss of ‘Self’, perhaps, in the symbolisation of the twin.