An Unplanned Encounter

Bonfire Nights

An Unplanned Encounter: Two Lives Forever Changed

A sexual assault takes place during World War 11 at a farm house in a Yorkshire village involving a single woman aged 20 and a civil engineer constructing a nearby airfield to prosecute the war;  a British wartime story describing the aftermath of what happens to the mother, to the father who returns to his wife and two children, and to a child born out of violence. A story about the right to life and its unintended consequences.  Written as literary fiction but based on real life events.

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During May 1944, a war-baby is born to the refrain of Ave Maria in a York Nursing Home, two weeks before D-Day.  The single mother is living with her parents, and the father a lodger in their house. He departs once the pregnancy is known, leaving behind a very frightened girl.

Against family advice, and without abortion being legal , she refuses to give up her baby and commits her life to his welfare. We journey with Mary Louise during the next twenty years as initially she is rejected by her family, forced to marry, finds herself in an abusive relationship, protects her son as he struggles through education, and eventually regains a belated freedom when her husband, more than twice her age, dies. The child’s father refuses to provide support and we are told about his separate life, at first financially successful, but then spiraling out of control due to illness, financial ruin, and abandoning his family.

Despite these real life challenges, there is a glow of love and affection that intensifies as the story moves towards a happy ending.

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Behind the Book

The initiative for writing, An Unplanned Encounter, came from a meeting with my mother during December 2007. She was aged 84. It was the last time I saw her alive. After many years of telling me my stepfather was my biological father, she confessed to the details of my conception. She talked of the physical assault, and added, “ I never dated him” and he was considered  to be “the bee’s knees” by her mother.

The story of An Unplanned Encounter is based on what my mother told me and what I discovered thereafter. At the time, she asked me not to take  further action while she was alive. She was ashamed and had no desire to resurrect old memories. I respected her request.