January 2015

If only Celia and Nick had not gone to the party that night. If only she had been ill or they had been delayed by one of the children or stuck in London traffic. But they had gone and then, after the party, everything was different.

The life that Celia and Nick have built together in North London seems a good one, with two grown-up children and a happy vision of a future surrounded by friends and family, albeit including Celia’s truculent father, Lionel. However, what happens at the party instantly turns her world upside down. Struggling to get her life back on track, she finds herself also having to grapple with an increasingly demanding and forgetful Lionel, who has his own family secrets to share.

ACCIDENTS OF LOVE is the deeply affecting story of one woman’s fight to hold on to her family and identity when all touchstones are lost to her. It reveals how small hurts and larger betrayals can cause the kind of suffering that neither age, nor wisdom, nor sheer will, can keep at bay.

'This is both a page-turner and a novel that seriously explores the mid-life crisis of Celia who discovers a shocking secret. The milieu of middle class North London is handled deftly from the moment the story opens at a birthday party held in a well known venue. Celia's relationships with her husband, her children, and her own parents all come under the microscope and while at times the reader identifies strongly with her the writer encourages us to stand back and see with critical eyes the complex workings of family relationships and close friendships.' 5*

Amazon review, Jennifer A Green 9th January 2016 

'Excellent read. Realistic and plausible yet tense and contains surprises too. I found myself empathising. Bonus tour around some parts of London to add further interest.' 5*

Amazon Review, 7th January 2017

'Gripping psychological family saga. A page turner.' 5*

Amazon review,  18th April 2017 

EXTRACT

Chapter 1

Celia had been really looking forward to Bill and Judy Webb’s party. It was Bill’s sixtieth. ‘Isn’t it terrific?’ Judy had said, when they’d arrived. ‘Such a great place for a party, don’t you think?’ The venue was, indeed, wonderful – an old reservoir pumping station, tucked neatly behind Seven Sisters Road, down an unpromising potholed roadway that seemed, at first, to be leading nowhere, till a car park appeared and the sudden revelation of a massive expanse of water. The lake looked as if it had been put there as some kind of apology for the urban mess that surrounded it, an earnest attempt to make amends. The building itself, the pumping station, was freshly painted inside, in gleaming white gloss. It had clearly just been done up as a venue for weddings and parties, a great cavernous hall with all its inner workings visible, making a feature of the engineering. Industrial chic. It had huge windows opening out onto the water, and stripped wooden decking, not yet weathered, stretching expansively on either side.

It was a lovely early evening in October, warm enough for the guests to stand in coats and jackets out on the decking, looking across the surprising expanse of water towards the tower blocks and sprouting new developments of Manor House, sipping good-quality champagne from fine crystal flutes. She scanned the room, trying to remember the names of people whose faces had a troubling familiarity. Was that Carol thingy, who had lived in Bill’s house in Bounds Green, in the early 80s? If so, she’d put on rather a lot of weight. Her face was distinctly jowly and her eyelids had sagged. She’d been a very pretty young woman then, much less so now. If it was her, of course.

 

©2020 by Barbara Bleiman

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