In The End the Beginning
Alice falls in love with rakish Harry at too young an age. When the inevitable pregnancy follows, they find themselves in a precarious position. Harry expects to get on with whatever he wants, job or no job, and for Alice to bear the burden of making ends meet and a rapidly expanding family.
She battles to hold it together and to hold on to her family. Something has to give – in the end it is her mind. But this is pre and post-war Britain where Harry's "carrying on" is normalised but Alice – sensitive and artistic of temperament – has her inability to cope medicalised. She is consigned to institutions away from the public gaze, and subject to experimental medical intervention.
She is strong, she is a survivor, but is it all too much?
Based on her mother's true story, Mary Steele brings people and their history to life with her poetic and evocative writing.
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