In a compelling YA debut, Wandsworth author Lynda Haddock offers support for kids coping with parental suicide
While there are several YA books that deal with suicide, Ellen Lives On is one of the few shining examples of a novel
that explores the idea of parental suicide in a sensitive and sympathetic manner.
Fifteen-year-old Ellen’s world is left shattered by her mother’s suicide, forcing her into circumstances that subject her to sexism and bullying by her peers.
Taking her life in her own hands, she flees to London and ends up mixing with a women’s rights group that will ultimately give her a place and the courage to stand up: for women and for herself.
Wandsworth author Lynda Haddock wrote the book to provide a sympathetic shoulder and an outlet for readers
dealing with these issues themselves.“Reading about difficult issues can provide support, insight and comfort,” she explains.
“As a teacher and a head, I have worked intensively with young people who were facing challenges in their lives. I have listened carefully to their stories of pain and resilience, and I know the power that fiction can have to help young people understand and manage the difficulties they experience.”
In addition to the emotional issue of parental suicide, Ellen Lives On also offers a long-term perspective on sexism
and women’s issues. The book is set in 1971 in the early years of feminism, which we see through a young girl’s eyes.
“This is particularly relevant just now,” says Lynda, “when there is strong public interest in the relationships between men and women.
Ellen Lives On explores issues of sexism that have had much media coverage recently, following the ‘Me Too’ campaign.”
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.
London-based Lynda Haddock began her career as an English teacher and has subsequently worked as a headteacher and a local authority officer with responsibility for educating pupils who were experiencing difficulties in their lives. Lynda is the author of several books about young people and education. This is her first novel.