Thursday 25 May 2023

Joy Pearson, "Untangling the Webs"


Joy Pearson lives in Cheshire and has written scripts, serious poetry, amusing verse and her autobiography. A fund-raiser for several animal charities, she has, over the years, worked with families under stress, Shelter campaign for the homeless, and for Esther Rantzen's Silver Line. An adoptee, having found her roots, she helps others voluntarily to find theirs. She is working on her second novel, the follow up to Untangling the Webs (Book Guild, 2018).

About Untangling the Webs, by Joy Pearson

As an imaginative observant child, my confidence to write had been knocked by my adoptive mother, who threw my poems and short stories into the fire, informing me I was useless and so were they and I would never amount to anything. From that time onwards, I wrote in secret, becoming a vigilant observer of both people and atmospheres.

In 2008, I began, with experience gained from this, to write my first novel, Untangling the Webs. I had a vague idea of who my characters might be, but no idea who they would morph into. I wanted to convey parallels in people’s lives, despite different backgrounds. Knowing how much the support of a close friend can bring to one’s life and vice versa, the men and women aid each other in solving stressful entanglements in their lives. Expect the unexpected in this psychological relationship thriller. The reader, as an invisible and privileged guest, is drawn into tangled lives as characters overcome conflicts, emotional shocks, treachery, guilt, serendipitous discoveries, and grief. 

Below, you can read two short excerpts from the novel. 

From Untangling the Webs

As nervous as if she were about to rob a bank, Julia gazed around. No-one, just ranks of semis. Walking across the road, her legs as wobbly as when she’d taken her driving test, a black cat sauntered past. The high privet hedge was an advantage, tatty with gaping holes; she dipped to peer through. A woman could be seen near the window. Seconds later the door opened, the woman shuffling to the garage. Dragging a box along the path, she heaved it into the porch. The door closed. She was wearing a dark robe, slippers and a towel over her head. The dull December day gave no clues as to what David’s ‘squeeze’ looked like. Julia pursed her lips with frustration. ‘Damn, damn,’ she muttered under her breath. Hugging the thickly padded coat to her, trudging to the car, shuddering from remaining an undiscovered voyeur, she tried to freeze those seconds, as December frost had done to the hedge. Clenching the steering wheel, anger welled as she wiped the misted windscreen. ‘The flack I’ve taken, accusations, when David’s been keeping a mistress,  even attacked me.  Wasn’t he getting enough from the tart with the yellow door?’ 


Picnics, concerts, and day to day stuff, which sharing elevated to the sublime, became bitter-sweet. He was, albeit in name only, married. Her perfect love, but she’d ignored the red flag.

Going over telephone conversations, she conjured up how he’d looked the last time she saw him, and if she’d known him at all. Life went on, so did wondering – why, where, when, how? She’d acknowledged positives in their affair, not letting his vanishing act spoil what was. Because their love was so extraordinary, having to return to the ordinary was devastating.

As Holly sprang onto the duvet, Trudie’s thoughts halted. Curling into a foetal position, the last images were of the stalker.

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