As a person from a certain part of the U.K., I’m going to use the phrase Cor Blimey!
This is the most raw, compelling heart wrenching book I’ve read in this subject matter.
I’ve felt anger, hatred, I wanted to reach out and give Alan what he dished out to his wife Kate.
That wouldn’t make it right but by goodness it would have made me feel better.
Standing back from this (based on the authors experience) I got to see how good, how strong and how gritty this writing was to evoke so much from me.
It’s not an easy read, no siree but it happens more than we want to acknowledge.
When Kate comes into some money and starts making plans I’m smiling for her. It’s not easy. She’s still being abused mentally and physically.
I thought this author wrote a very powerful story. And I wonder how much if her life experiences she drew on.
Not an easy read, it’s raw, holds no punches back but well worth it!
If you are looking for a light read coming into Fool’s Circle you will not be getting that with this book. Suzanne Seddon takes you deep into a couple’s domestic violence relationship. This book may not be suited for everyone as it does contain triggers. It does contain very graphic language that ruins one self-esteem, domestic violence, and a rape scene. I am a huge fan of psychological thrillers but this one shook me to the core and then some!!
Suzanne Seddon did an incredible job bringing the subject of domestic abuse to the front lines of the literary world. This subject was incredibly passionate and close to her heart. Growing up, Suzanne witnessed mental and physical abuse within her own family which strongly influenced her writing her first play Fool’s Circle.
However, that being said there were times that it was incredibly hard to read as a woman. It was hard not feel something for Kate and want to defend her to Alan. Many times I wanted her to fight back. I wanted to know why she was just taking the abuse. I would become angry at the character for not standing up to him. Plus, I would be scared for Sophie too. So many emotions in this book.
In the book you will see flashbacks to how Alan and Kate had met. You will realize how toxic their relationship really was from the get go. However, Kate was too blind to see it.
If there was anyone that pulled on my heart strings this whole book and I felt so bad for it is their daughter Sophie. She was the one that witnessed Mommie take all the abuse from Daddy. She heard everything. Can you imagine what damage that does to a child emotionally and mentally? It effected even her school life later on. Her father was such a jerk that he didn’t want to admit that he was her kid. Alan treated both Sophie and Kate like garbage.
Kudos to the graphic designer who created this cover. It was brilliant!! Seeing the abuse in the eye of someone else. It was brilliant. It was spot on.
Suzanne would like to thank her beautiful daughter Poppy for putting up with her and the endless amounts of paper she put all over the place.
This is the first time ever that I have a read a book that the author dedicates a book to herself. Suzanne says she is the strongest person she knows. Plus, she has fought many battles.
Suzanne Seddon's debut novel is not a light-hearted read. "There's murder, there's drugs, there's rape," explains the Islington-based writer. "It's about domestic violence in its rawest form, because I wanted to cover it exactly like it is."
Originally written as a play, A Fool's Circle charts the story of Kate Sanders, who meets and swiftly falls in love with Alan whilst at university. After the couple are married, things soon unravel as Alan loses his job and turns to the bottle, becoming increasingly spiteful and abusive to his wife, in turn pushing Kate to the brink of suicide.
Through her friendship with Jill Reynolds and love for her daughter, Kate clings on in the face of immense adversity. Her luck seems to change when she inherits a fortune from her aunt and meets a new man. But then she finds herself in the frame for murder.
"It's not like a self-help book - it's a psychological thriller - I've sort of combined the two," adds Seddon, who drew upon her personal experience of domestic troubles throughout the story.
"I grew up around domestic violence and had mental abuse inflicted on me for years, so it was very hard to write. It took me two years to do so.
"My mum went in to hospital in 2014 and died in 2016. I had finished making a trailer for A Fool's Circle, and had written a feature-film script. But it was her dream to write a book, and when she died - through my grief - I decided to turn it in to a book."
Seddon lavishes praise on her friend Ken Scott - the Sunday Times Top Ten Bestselling Author - for helping to recalibrate the story from a script in to a novel.
"He gave me so many pointers," she says, "he'd call me up and say 'where's that chapter? Have you done that yet?'
"When I finished it, he said 'you pestered the life out of me, but I'm so proud of you!' He was as good as gold. He said next time I see you, just buy me a pint."
Seddon is hoping to raise the issue of domestic abuse and empower those who are going through it to speak out. She's seeking to boost the confidence of those suffering at the hands of a controlling partner and send them a message - you are not alone.
"I grew up in the 70s, and it was always around me. Years ago, that's what it was like. If you listened to the way that some men spoke to women, they'd say things like "ah, look at that fat cow!" - it's just the era that I was brought up in.
"I was called fat, ugly, I was no good at this, I was no good at that. If I was going on a night out, it was 'you look disgusting, who do you think you are?' Mental abuse can be worse than physical. Even though you knew it was wrong, it was a taboo subject."
Seddon is talking about such horrific experiences, and yet when we meet in an Angel café on Friday afternoon, she is chatty and couldn't be more friendly. The 51-year-old's pride and joy is clearly her daughter, Poppy-Willow (14), who arrives to say hello half-way through our chat.
For all that Seddon has been through, she's held down some fantastic jobs in her career. Aside from being a published author, Seddon has worked as a qualified swimming teacher, an air-hostess and, in the 90s, she owned a local pub called The British Lion.
"It's not there any more, but it was great! We used to have three bands on (per night) and a 2am licence. I was only 24; I think I was the youngest landlady in Islington."
Through combining elements of a self-help book with a thriller narrative, Seddon is looking to break through to people who might not realise they're actually experiencing abuse themselves.
"I think people need to understand that there are a lot of women - and men - who are going through domestic abuse and don't realise," she explains.
"A woman might walk in to a pub and her husband will say 'oh here she comes, the old wench', and he'll laugh with his mates - that is a form of mental abuse. You think if they're doing that in front of their mates, what are they saying behind closed doors?
"I'm trying to raise awareness and tackle it in a different way."
For all the difficult moments that Seddon discusses, her face lights up once more when there's a chance to speak about Harry Potter fan Poppy-Willow, who she lives with on Englefield Road.
"Poppy is old enough to understand - she's 14 going on 18 and is very intelligent. She said 'mum, I'm so proud of you, and nanny would have been also, and that really got to me. That's the reason I did it: I wanted to dedicate it to the both of them."
A Fool's Circle by Suzanne Seddon is available on Amazon now.