Thursday, November 29, 2012

Deceptions: A dark night, an illicit affair, a hit and run...



Deceptions
Author Laura Elliot

A dark night, an illicit affair, a hit and run...
When the effects of an illicit love affair destroys Lorraine Cheevers' marriage, the artist and mother uproots her teenage daughter from their comfortable city-centre home to make a new life for themselves in the small seaside village of Trabawn. She is determined to forget the past but it is following her and catching up. As Lorraine adjusts to her new surroundings, Killian Devine-O'Malley, the young victim of the hit and run, lies in a coma. His father, the well-known screen writer Michael Carmody, is determined to find the person responsible for his son's accident. His search brings him to Trabawn where he comes into contact with Lorraine. Though she has resolved to be alone, she cannot deny the strong attraction she feels towards this troubled stranger who has appeared so suddenly in her life. But why has Lorraine turned her back on friendship and love? What lies behind her flight from all that was once familiar? As the bond between her and Michael grows, the stakes rise. Because what neither of them know is just what the other is running from. Or why it matters. Deceptions is a gripping tale of betrayal and consequence, love and illusion, and an unexpected attraction that won't be denied.
Review: This is a mature contemporary novel that pulls you in and makes you care. What I mean by mature is not in the explicit terms, but in the construction and development of complexity. This is a read to pick up when you want to slow down. Sometimes a person can grow tired of fast-paced, or what I term, 'bam, bam, bam' reads that come at you like tennis balls out of a machine. Don't mistake my use of 'slow-paced' as boring. Nope, not at all. This is a book with complicated events mixed into complicated lives, all entangled and messy. There is always something melancholy that comes through in Irish writings, that underlying understanding that lingers beneath a shade of gray reality. Deceptions will not disappoint on this aspect of cultural influence with a splash of sainthood. There is an honest hope, not one tied up with a bright bow, but with a personal realization and growth that warms the heart and saddens it at the same time. Given all that happens in the book, you'd think the reader would be depressed, but Elliot has a way of never letting the reader get over-burdened, but manages to stroke the worst with a glimmer of optimism. Lorraine is a strong lead character that is stripped down and vulnerable. She has moments, regrets, flaws, insecurities, but also a strength that is reassuring. I'm glad she never turns pathetic, even though many a character might in her situation. On the flip side, she isn't cold, callous or bitter either, which makes her likable. Unlike her daughter, who I found to be the most annoying character. Ooh, how I wanted to slap that girl! Coupled with the sociopathic best friend, I'm shocked she was able to maintain her sanity!  A lesser women would be wearing an orange jumpsuit with a prison number stitched across her chest. This book will grow on you as it deepens, if you give it a chance!
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Meet the Author 
Laura Elliot is the author of three novels, Stolen Child and The Prodigal Sister (published by Avon HarperCollins) and Deceptions (published by JuneConsidine) Aka  June Considine, she is also a writer of children’s fiction and has written twelve books for pre-teens and  young adults. Her short stories have been broadcast on  RTE’s Fiction 15 series and have appeared in a number of teenage anthologies, including The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror Annual Collection. She gives regular workshops on creative writing and is secretary to the board of the Irish Writers’ Centre. She has also worked as a freelance journalist and magazine editor but is now engaged full time in creative writing. She lives in Malahide, Co Dublin.    Website: juneconsidine.com
  
A Note From the Laura Elliot 
Secrets and Deceit on the Great South Wall 

Sometimes, when I finish a book, when the drafting, correcting and editing are done, I find it difficult to pinpoint the original idea that acted as my catalyst for beginning it. This was not the case with Deceptions. That seed was sown one night when I was commissioned by a daily newspaper to do a series of features on night life in Dublin City. I was working as a journalist at the time and the idea of writing a novel was nothing more than an ambitious glint in my eye. One of the features I wrote concerned homeless people. I spent the night on the streets with young men and women who had run away from home for various reasons. 

It was a disturbing night, edged with violence and I found it an extremely sad experience. I did one interview on the South Wall, an industrial area in Dublin's docklands. It has a famous pier overlooking Dublin Bay which is a popular place for walkers but that night it was dark and desolate. When I returned to my car, having interviewed a young man who lived in a make-shift cement shelter, I noticed the dimmed headlights of a car in the car park. A second car arrived. A man and a woman emerged from both cars and embraced before walking into the deeper shadows. 

I wisely left them to their own devices but as I drove away I wondered why they had to meet in such an isolated, secret location. The reason seemed obvious and I assumed the couple were having an affair. I wondered what would happen if they were discovered. If, as they drove away, they were involved in a hit-and-run accident, what then? If they knocked down one of the homeless people on the edge of society, would anyone really care? But, even if they got away with it, what would it do to their relationship? 
This image of a couple embracing formed the spine of Deceptions when I began to write it sometime later. Even though the novel developed its own creative momentum, that sense of intrigue, secrecy and deceit stayed at the forefront of my mind and created a cast of characters who answered the questions for me. 

1 comment :

  1. Deceptions is what I call 'a mature' read. Writing such as Elliot's is the best of contemporary women's fiction - powerful story, and great characters, capturing the atmospherics of Dublin.
    Patricia O'Reilly

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