A Place for Secrets no more in Yvonne's debut novel
Debut novel by north east author Yvonne Scollen
“A Place for Secrets”
Yvonne Scollen was born in Hartlepool, a port on the north east coast of England.
She lived there with her parents and older sister. Educated locally, Yvonne developed an interest in music and poetry, learning to play the piano, whilst living in Manchester for three months with her Aunt Connie, her mother’s sister, who was recuperating from an operation.
Yvonne left school aged fifteen and worked for many years with Marks and Spencer in Hartlepool, eventually becoming Head Window Dresser.
Yvonne left Marks and Spencer to raise her family with her husband Hughie and secured part time work at the local Chemist in Easington to add to Hughie’s income from the local coal mine in Easington Colliery.
As the confrontation between the miners and Maggie Thatcher loomed, Yvonne obtained a full time job working with the elderly at Lee House Community Centre in Easington Village. It was whilst at this employment that Yvonne attended night school to learn to type, this re – kindled her interest in writing. Four poems have been published and now her debut novel.
Despite suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and confined to a wheelchair and forced to give up work through ill health, Yvonne bounced back with the help of her husband Hughie and her family.
Yvonne’s recovery was aided when she bought a second hand laptop, enrolled on a computer course at her local Library in Blackhall Colliery and embarked on her lifetime ambition to write a novel.
Although in pain, the arthritis is still in evidence, Yvonne devoted many hours to producing “A Place for Secrets.”
A Place for Secrets - The Plot
Selina Miles lives with her parents and older brothers, Tom and Eric, in a Durham Mining Village during the 1950’s. She leaves school and gains employment at the bakery owned by Miss Potter, and her illegitimate, retarded son Enoch.
Tom leaves the pit to join Her Majesty’s Service as a driver for Captain Morrell. However when Eric is killed at work, Captain Morrell brings Tom home for the funeral and is immediately besotted with Selina.
Selina is asked to open the bakery at midnight. She’s brutally raped in the bakery yard the night before her mother passes away in hospital. She discovers she is pregnant and confides in Bernadette, at work.
Trying to help, Bernadette tells the priest. Together they send Selina to the Magdalene Laundries, in Ireland. Miss Potter attempts to prevent this from going ahead, but fails. She decides to search for Selina.
Miss Potter finds Selina, and telephoning her brother and his wife in London, arranges to take her there. Selina gives birth, but to gives her son away for adoption – an incident she never recovers from.
Captain Mark Morrell finds Selina working in the local library. He wants to take her out, but Selina declines, as she believes herself unclean. After much persuasion she relents and they begin a courtship. He takes her to his mansion to impress, but Selina is not phased by his wealth.
Many years pass and Captain Mark receives a tour of duty in Cyprus. Selina agrees to marry him by special licence, but is unable to consummate the marriage – will she ever recover and fall in love?
Yvonne Scollen's book will be published on 1st August 2009 and the launch will take place in local libraries. Photograph of Yvonne available from publishers
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