So what is it about? Well, first and foremost it's women's fiction - concerning women and their relationships with each other, with their families - husbands or partners, past and present - with their children and with Chichester Court, a strange house with a sinister past which is somehow related to each one of them. So, as you may have gathered, it's also very much a ghost story!
Let me introduce you to the women you see on the cover:
ANNE (centre) – former teacher, currently undergoing an acrimonious divorce, recently moved into Chichester Court with her deeply unhappy, 6 year old son.
GEMMA (right of centre) – ex-nurse, divorced from playboy-husband, two young children, one new lover but a recurring nightmare prevents her from moving forward.
RHIA (left of centre) – Gemma’s friend who enjoys a seemingly perfect marriage to a doctor; a perfect husband, perfect children, perfect house; but repressing the pain of her secret past leads to compulsive and disturbing behaviours.
JOANNA (far right) – Anne’s oldest friend and an ex-resident of the house. She is a new age therapist, long-divorced, with three older children; the oldest lost to her forever.
PAIGE (far left) – a lonely teenage mum with young baby; left a desperate semi-invalid after a mysterious accident on the staircase, which she insists was no accident.
These five women are drawn together by Chichester Court – a large Georgian mansion now converted into flats for one-parent families. Despite copious architectural re-planning, it seems the house’s dark and sinister past cannot be destroyed. Anne is the catalyst who brings these significant lives together and eventually draws out the house’s secret: that five young women in a former age were brutally murdered within its walls.
In the process of discovery, these women’s lives and young families are irrevocably transformed by the escalating forces operating in the house when the past encroaches on the present. Anne and Joanna track down the former owners of the house, the frail and elderly Chichester sisters, to uncover the dark, ancestral secrets they have guiltily concealed for their entire lives.
'Unworkers' is about poisons and potions; about relationships, past lives and the painful secrets between men and women which spread to permeate the private spaces of their lives and homes.
I hope you will read it.