Square Peg arrives ~
It’s taken far longer than I thought it ever would, but Square Peg is now out there, winging its way around the globe.
The last two years have been quite tough, with health challenges and life being uncooperative and awkward. I’ve struggled to keep going, keep writing and keep working at getting my back catalogue out there. The book market is not an easy place and I’d become more daunted by the difficulties than I was inspired by the possibilities. A good deal of that was down to Dexter, my former parathyroid tumour, sucking the life and joy out of me, but a month after his exile to a path lab somewhere, I’m rebuilding my health and energy.
So it is with great joy (and no little trepidation) I can tell you that Square Peg is now live. Here’s the blurb:
“She’d seen faces like that before, but on the television, in films and in the history books. The faces of fanatics, cold and blind to all reason staring back at her.
Chloe is a square peg in an increasingly uncomfortable round hole. Brought up by her wildly unconventional grandmother, she’s a true free spirit and has never learned to pull her punches. She’s just married trainee Church of England clergyman Clifford, and is living at the theological college and trying to figure out what’s going on around her. She’s had very little connection with formal religion, and has a talent for stepping on all sorts of emotional land-mines with the wives of the other ordinands. That would probably be fine if it wasn’t for the fact that her grandmother has inconsiderately died, and left her a house full of exotic souvenirs of her days as a travelling doctor, instructions to track down her father and sister, and what everyone else regards as a really bad attitude. She’s also lost her job, her temper, but not the will to live.
Chloe’s life begins to unravel in ways she could never have imagined as she tries to understand her own background by setting out to find out what became of her sister and father. But trying to integrate her uncompromising approach to life brings her into escalating conflict with the other women of the college, leaving her isolated and friendless. In Clifford’s final year of training, Chloe meets the arty, anarchic Isobel and together they concoct a plan whereby the irrepressible Isobel becomes the mole amid the college wives and they start to undermine and sabotage the status quo with a series of practical jokes and psychological warfare that has terrible consequences for Chloe when things go horribly wrong.”
Chloe’s a bit of a misfit, hence the title. She finds people difficult to deal with, and finds the wives at the college baffling. She’s had an unusual up-bringing by her Bohemian grandmother, and because of her less-than-ordinary role model, she struggles to relate to others. To her, faith is a matter of wonder and exploration and not rules and regulations. She works in a male-dominated profession and she’s cultivated a tough, no-nonsense approach that really doesn’t go down well with the women of the college.
Some readers are going to love her; some, I fear, might well hate her. But by the end of the novel, I hope all will empathise with her.
(For those who loved Away With The Fairies, Isobel and Mickey Trelawny appear in the book around two thirds in. If you loved Father Peter in The Bet, well, he’s Chloe’s uncle by marriage and is there also. (All my novels connect with each other at some stage.)
Cover design is by D. J.Bowman-Smith http://djbowmansmith.com/